US coaches protest European club ban on players

Sao Paulo (AFP) – South American coaches protested on Saturday against European clubs who pressured their players to skip three World Cup qualifiers this month.

Brazil’s Tite, Argentina’s Lionel Scaloni, Colombia’s Reinaldo Rueda and Chile’s Martin Lasarte want FIFA to solve the problem before three more rounds of the 10-team robin scheduled for October.

Many players based in England, on advice from their clubs, have not traveled due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the British government, which has put South America on its red list, meaning a mandatory hotel quarantine if they go there and are. return. Brazil also lost two Zenit St Petersburg players minutes before boarding the plane to Chile because their club called them to return to Russia.

But Argentina did not lose any of the four called up, and Colombia ceded defender Davinson Sanchez.

Tite said he does not have nine players in the Premier League, including five frequent starters. He had an agreement with another aggrieved coach, Lasarte. They spoke Thursday after Brazil beat Chile 1-0 in Santiago. Brazil hosts Argentina on Sunday.

Tite said: “He told me (to my family) that what they are doing to us is ridiculous, we need equality to bring in all our players. He said we can count on him for any protest and I said the same. We need to be on the same page. We don’t have the same conditions to prepare for the World Cup.” This is a privilege for others, especially the European teams.”

He added about the right of teams to bring players: “But we have the support of FIFA.” “The players are talking to their clubs in Europe. I hope we can finish the upcoming matches without any problem.”

FIFA gave two extra days to catch up with South America in September and October, so that three qualifiers could be played in each window, instead of the usual two. He also told CONMEBOL that there will be consequences for clubs that do not release players as required, which could mean disciplinary action.

But complaints from European clubs are concentrated in the third party in South America on September 9, that is, Thursday. That’s less than two days before the national leagues resume in Europe.

Scaloni wants to discuss the issue as quickly as possible and support any sanctions, without naming people or organizations.

“I played these rounds because they were so fast, but we can’t compete that way,” Scaloni said. “I understand the other national teams and I give them my full support. You can do it for one or two games. But no more.”

Argentina conceded Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia and Tottenham players Giovanni Lo Celso and Christian Romero, in only two of the next three qualifying rounds, but Scaloni denied such an arrangement.

These players could become a last-minute problem for Argentina, also due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Travelers who have visited the United Kingdom, South Africa, Northern Ireland and India in the last 14 days, with some exceptions (eg, Brazilian nationals) must not enter the national territory. They must have been previously quarantined in another country before entering Brazil.” “Providing false information to the Brazilian authorities may constitute a violation of health and a violation of local laws.”

The Sao Paulo State Health Secretariat said in another statement that local investigators are visiting the Argentina Hotel to review the documents, raising questions about whether the four Argentine players will play on Sunday.

“We will report all the information until the National Health Agency decides whether the athletes will need to be quarantined,” he added.

Amber Cross

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