The head coach of Argentina’s national team, Lionel Scaloni, is not happy that most Premier League clubs failed to release players for the September FIFA international break.
Lionel Scaloni urged FIFA to make the rules governing the release of players clearer and inflexible. He added that it was an unfair competition if some national teams don’t have access to their best players.
Ahead of the September FIFA international break, all the Premier League clubs agreed that they would not release their players to play in countries that are in the coronavirus red-list of the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Colombia are among the countries that are on the UK government’s red list. Hence, players from those countries playing in the Premier League were not permitted to leave the UK for the international break.
The Premier League clubs decided to ban their players from traveling to countries on the red-list because they don’t want them to be unavailable for subsequent Premier League games after the international break.
Recall that the UK government announced that arrivals from countries in the red-list would have to self-isolate at a government-approved hotel for 10 days. Based on this, a player who arrived from such a country could miss two to three Premier League games.
Hence, the Premier League clubs believed it was more beneficial for them to ban their players from traveling to a country in the government red-list.
Contrary to the agreement of the Premier League clubs, Aston Villa decided to release their goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and midfielder Emiliano Buendia to Argentina.
However, the Premier League club want them to return to England before Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia on September 10, 2021.
In response to that, the Argentina FA told the press that the FA and the Premier League club did not have such an agreement before the players joined the national team.
Ahead of Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Brazil scheduled to kick off at 20:00 today, September 5, 2021, coach Lionel Scaloni said if clubs continue to stop players from representing their countries, “the competition is not equal”.
“We don’t have any idea of what it is going to be like for the next games and that can’t be [right]”, Lionel Scaloni added.
“Beyond who it affects – Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Colombia – it can’t go on like this.
“These games are being played because it was very tight and the decision was last minute but they need to decide for the next time. You can’t compete like this.
“Now that we have time before the next dates there has to be a clear and inflexible position.”
Brazil will go into the game against Argentina without some of their star players like Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino, and Manchester City pair Ederson and Gabriel Jesus.
Argentina are 6 points behind first-placed Brazil in the 10-team South America FIFA World Cup qualifiers table which means that Argentina are expected to beat Brazil tonight to close up the gap.