Chile's sporting director asks FIFA to intervene with English red-list player ban as Ben Brereton forced to stay with Blackburn

Chile’s sporting director Francis Cagigao has asked FIFA to intervene with English rules saying players can’t be released for international matches in places on the UK’s red list after Blackburn striker Ben Brereton was not released to join up with the national squad.

Premier League and EFL clubs unanimously decided not to release players for international matches in places on the UK’s red list.

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The decision was been taken so players will not have to quarantine for 10 days on their return to England.

It means many players are unable to travel for their national team’s World Cup Qualifiers, including Chile forward Brereton and his Blackburn team-mate Francisco Sierralta, and Cagigao has turned to FIFA for a solution.

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He said: “As is quite evident, at this point, the English clubs have not solved the problems they have with the English government, especially with the 10 days of quarantine. We understand that this is a problem that the English league must solve with the English federation and its Government.


“We will follow the FIFA regulations, which is the highest body in the world. We have to repeat, and we understand that the clubs must also respect that the players have to be with their clubs on the FIFA date.

Returning to England from 'red-list' countries

The Government states those returning to England from a country on their red list must quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel and take a coronavirus test on or before day two and on or after day eight of quarantining.

“We have been in talks this whole week. These conversations did not advance and there is no choice but to ask FIFA to intervene in one way or another.”

Chile face Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia between September 2 and 9, while Blackburn’s next match is against Luton Town on September 11.

In a post on Instagram, Brereton said: “I am really disappointed about the position I find myself in … I hope for a solution soon but this looks less likely with every passing day.”

Nearly 60 Premier League players from 19 clubs – who are due to travel to 26 red-list countries in the September international window – will also be affected this month.

Argentina, Brazil and Egypt are among the nations currently on the UK Government’s red list regarding travel to England.

It means Mohamed Salah will not be able to play in Egypt’s World Cup Qualifier in Cairo against Angola on September 2.

Brazil host Argentina in a World Cup Qualifier at the Maracana on September 5, but the Premier League’s decision means numerous players will miss that match, and several other big games in South America.

Eight Premier League players were named in the Brazil squad, with Liverpool trio Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino joined by Ederson and Gabriel Jesus (both Manchester City), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Fred (Manchester United), Richarlison (Everton) and Raphinha (Leeds United).

However, the Premier League’s Argentine players are set to defy orders, with Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso and Aston Villa pair Emiliano Martínez and Emi Buendía joining up with the squad.

Martínez and Buendía agreed to make themselves available for Argentina’s vital first two World Cup qualifying matches against Venezuela and Brazil but will not take part in the third international match against Bolivia.

The arrangements mean they will miss Villa’s Premier League match with Chelsea on September 11, before being available for the visit of Everton to Villa Park on September 18.

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