South Americans cleared to play in EPL despite missing qualifiers
South American players whose Premier League clubs blocked them from traveling and competing in World Cup qualifiers earlier this month no longer face the threat of a five-day ban.
Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay abandoned plans to trigger a FIFA clause that would've prevented players from the three nations from competing in this weekend's Premier League matches. CONCACAF's Mexico also waived its right to trigger the regulation.
"As a sign of good faith, goodwill and cooperation, the member associations of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay, in close consultation with FIFA, have taken the decision to withdraw their complaints in relation to the England-based players," FIFA said in a statement.
English clubs blocked several players from joining their respective countries due to COVID-19 restrictions upon returning to Great Britain. Players would've been subjected to 10 days of quarantine after returning from South American nations that the U.K. government red-listed.
FIFA is reportedly hopeful that the U.K. government will ease its COVID-19 restrictions for October's World Cup qualifiers.
The threat of suspension caused confusion among Premier League clubs. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Friday said, "In the end, the only (ones) who get punished are the players and the clubs - and we have nothing to do with the whole organization around. It's like, 'What is happening?'"
The five-day bans were set to begin Friday after South America's international window ended Thursday. Chelsea, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United would have been affected.