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club v country Liverpool fighting their case as Brazilian FA tries to ban three key player for Leeds clash


Roberto Firmino (left) and Alisson (right) were expected to be involved with Brazil (Adam Davy/PA)

Roberto Firmino (left) and Alisson (right) were expected to be involved with Brazil (Adam Davy/PA)

Roberto Firmino (left) and Alisson (right) were expected to be involved with Brazil (Adam Davy/PA)

Liverpool are insisting the Brazilian FA have no right to stop Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino from playing in Sunday's Premier League game at Leeds, as an increasingly bitter club vs country row rumbles on.

After Liverpool refused to allowed their Brazilian players to travel for the international break as the South American country is on the UK's red-list for Covid-19, football chiefs in Rio believe the club broke rules release of players.

FIFA then invoked Article 5 to block Premier League clubs from selecting Brazilian players from playing for their English clubs this weekend, sparkling a row that could bring issues involving international football to a head.

Liverpool would be one of the hardest hit by these restrictions with Alisson, Fabinho and Firmino all currently unavailable for the trip to face Leeds, who would have Raphinha unable to play unless a deal if thrashed out.

With FIFA fearing this could set a precedent for clubs to block players from travelling for international matches, this stand-off could have a long-term impact on the game.

Liverpool believe that, due to the circumstances surrounding the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine measures players would have had to face upon their return to the UK had they travelled, FIFA has no foundation with which to stop the players from being selected by their clubs this weekend.

Yet this story is highlighting a wider issue, with clubs pushing hard for fewer international matches during the season and the game's governing bodies appreciating they would not want any club to take them to court over the release of international players.

FIFA have yet to publicly comment on this matter, but it could come to a head if Liverpool and Leeds play their Brazilian players this weekend, with Manchester United's Fred, Thiago Silva at Chelsea as well as Manchester City's Ederson and Gabriel Jesus also involved in this spat after they were blocked from travelling for international matches with Brazil.

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