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flight ban Star names set to miss international break as spotlight falls on World Cup qualifiers

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Bruno Fernandes (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bruno Fernandes (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bruno Fernandes (Martin Rickett/PA)

A host of star names looks certain to miss next month's international break, with South American nations voicing doubts over whether they can play crucial World Cup qualifiers

After a series chaotic international breaks were allowed to go ahead at the back end of 2020 despite a rising surge in Covid-19 cases among players travelling around the world to play for their national teams, FIFA have now given the green light for next month's World Cup qualifiers to go ahead.

Yet they have also agreed to allow clubs to hold back players who may be expected to travel to countries that are currently on the red list for travel.

It means English-based players who represent South American nations such Liverpool's Brazilian trio of Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino (below) and some European countries such as Portugal, who would have hoped to call-up Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes) will not be expected to play international games next month.

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Fabinho, right, celebrates Liverpool’s Premier League title success with Roberto Firmino, left, and Alisson Becker (Phil Noble/PA)

Fabinho, right, celebrates Liverpool’s Premier League title success with Roberto Firmino, left, and Alisson Becker (Phil Noble/PA)

Fabinho, right, celebrates Liverpool’s Premier League title success with Roberto Firmino, left, and Alisson Becker (Phil Noble/PA)

FIFA said in a statement: "In the context of the challenges that remain in place for both international and domestic football due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to provide additional flexibility regarding the release of players for national team duty and the registration of players with clubs in competitions that remain disrupted by the pandemic."

It means a host of star names look certain to miss World Cup tie that will kick-start the qualification process for Qatar 2022.

Here is a list of the Premier League players likely to be blocked from playing for their national teams next month, with calls to cancel the international break and more qualifiers to be played next summer seemingly set to be ignored:

Arsenal

David Luiz (Brazil), Gabriel (Brazil), Gabriel Martinelli (Brazil), Willian (Brazil), Cedric Soares (Portugal)

Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez (Argentina), Douglas Luiz (Brazil)

Brighton

Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina), Steven Alzate (Colombia)

Chelsea

Thiago Silva (Brazil)

Everton

Yery Mina (Colombia), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Andre Gomes (Portugal), Allan (Brazil), Bernard (Brazil), Richarlison (Brazil)

Fulham

Ivan Cavaleiro (Portugal)

Leeds

Raphinha (Brazil), Helder Costa (Portugal)

Leicester

Ricardo Pereira (Portugal)

Liverpool

Allison Becker (Brazil), Fabinho (Brazil), Roberto Firmino (Brazil), Diogo Jota (Portugal)

Man City

Ederson (Brazil), Joao Cancelo (Portugal), Ruben Dias (Portugal), Bernardo Silva (Portugal), Fernandinho (Brazil), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)

Manchester United

Alex Telles (Brazil), Fred (Brazil), Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), Facundo Pellestri (Uruguay), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)

Newcastle

Federico Fernandez (Argentina), Miguel Almiron (Paraguay), Joelinton (Brazil)

Tottenham

Davinson Sanchez (Colombia), Eric Lamela (Argentina), Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina), Lucas Moura (Brazil), Carlos Vinicius (Brazil)

West Brom

Matheus Pereira (Brazil)

West Ham

Fabien Balbuena (Paraguay), Manuel Lanzini (Argentina)

Wolves

Rui Patricio (Portugal), Marcal (Brazil), Nelson Samedo (Portugal), Ruben Neves (Portugal), Daniel Podence (Portugal), Joao Moutinho (Portugal), Vitinha (Portugal), Pedro Neto (Portugal), Fabio Silva (Portugal), Willian Jose (Brazil)

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