Jurgen Klopp demands Government solution to club-versus-country row with Brazil

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Jurgen Klopp has urged the UK Government to find “some kind of solution” to prevent another club-versus-country row over Covid quarantine rules.

Premier League clubs refused to release players earlier this month for World Cup qualifiers in countries on the Government’s ‘red’ travel list because of the 10-day quarantine rule.

In response, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and three other national associations asked world governing body FIFA to bar the players from club duty for five days before withdrawing their request a day before the next round of Premier League fixtures.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielder Fabinho are among eight Premier League players included in Brazil’s squad for World Cup qualifiers next month against Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the possibility of quarantine exemptions for Premier League players earlier this week and Klopp hopes a fresh row can be avoided.

Klopp said: “There must be a solution obviously, because we cannot just leave it like this and say it’s not a problem. Yes it is a problem.

“I’m pretty sure the relevant people are working on this. I know they’re working on this, but there’s nothing decided yet, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Fabinho is one of eight Premier League players called up by Brazil for next month's World Cup qualifiers
Fabinho is one of eight Premier League players called up by Brazil for next month’s World Cup qualifiers (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We have a problem when the Brazilians are allowed, or when they go, to the next internationals.

“We have a 12.30 kick-off at Watford (October 16). The game in Brazil is on Friday night (October 15), so obviously nobody has thought about that yet.

“I know it’s a Liverpool problem and nobody else’s problem, and good for Watford.

“But I just don’t know how you can do these kind of things where nobody reacts on the schedule. We have two problems. One is the schedule, it was always a problem.

“TV and other guys, the Premier League, say, ‘OK, that’s how it is, they have to play, let’s have a look how they can sort that’.

“Another thing, it’s not good for the players or the clubs as well and I hope the Government comes up with some kind of solution.”

Premier League clubs were updated on the progress of talks between the league, the Government and FIFA at a league shareholders’ meeting in London on Wednesday.

The clubs hope an agreement can be reached so their international players can avoid going into quarantine for 10 days when they return.

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