Initially, FIFA intended to invoke Article 5 to stop the South American players in the Premier League from playing for their clubs for five days beginning from September 8 or 9, the last two days of the September international break.
If the world football governing body had gone on with the plan, clubs like Wolves, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea would have been worst affected.
The reason for the initial plan of FIFA to stop the South American players from playing for their clubs was because the Premier League clubs failed to release the players for the September break. This is an offense in the law books of FIFA which attracts at least five days ban.
Recall that ahead of the September FIFA international break, the Premier League clubs had a meeting over the coronavirus restrictions of the United Kingdom’s government.
The protocol states that arrivals from UK’s red list countries would have to quarantine at a government-designated venue for at least 10 days. This means that players who leave their clubs for their countries in September could miss at least two Premier League games due to the 10 days quarantine period.
Hence, the Premier League clubs saw it as a setback for the clubs and agreed that they would not allow their players to travel to countries on UK’s red list.
The worst affected South American countries were Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Paragua. The Premier League clubs did not release any player from those countries for the September break.
Only Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur went against the agreement and decided to release the South American players in their teams for the break.
At the end of the day, the players they released to Brazil – Villa’s Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez and Spurs’ Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, became the reason Brazil vs Argentina World Cup qualification game was suspended.
Recall that during the Brazil vs Argentina game which took place in Brazil, Brazilian health workers disrupted the game in the 6th minute because the four Premier League players did not quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Brazil. Hence, the game was suspended to the dismay of many football fans.
Clubs like Manchester City did not release Ederson and Gabriel Jesus to Brazil. Chelsea did not release Thiago Silva and Manchester United did not release Fred.
Also, Liverpool failed to release Brazilian trios Alisson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino for the September break. Wolves failed to release Mexico forward Raul Jimenez, Newcastle did not release Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron and Watford held back Francisco Sierralta of Chile.
However, after negotiations with the affected countries in conjunction with FIFA, the football governing body decided to pardon the clubs with the consent of the affected football federations.
This means that all the players mentioned above including Everton and Brazilian forward Richarlison will be available for this weekend’s Premier League games.
The manager of Liverpool Jurgen Klopp said: “It is a really difficult situation and really tricky for all the clubs, and the players especially.
“We should not forget at this moment that the players wanted to play these games, the clubs wanted to let the players go but it was not possible.”
While the manager of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel added: “Personally, I think it could be a solution may be to move games from red listed to green listed countries. Like we did with the Champions League.”