Soccer

Alisson’s telling response as Premier League players cleared to play this weekend

Klopp discusses contact with van Dijk amid injury concern

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has responded after being cleared to play for the Reds against Leeds United on Sunday. Premier League clubs were unclear over whether their South American players would be able to feature following the threat of a five-day ban. 

Several South American Football Associations requested that FIFA impose the suspension after some players were withdrawn from international duty.  

That was because clubs were concerned about individuals travelling to red-list countries and missing games due to the quarantine requirements upon their return.  

Clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Leeds, among others, were set to miss players for this week’s fixtures.  

However, an agreement has now been reached to waive the suspension, allowing the likes of Reds shot-stopper Alisson and midfielder Fabinho to feature.  

And the goalkeeper has now reacted to news that he can play at Elland Road this weekend. 

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Liverpool tweeted a statement confirming that Alisson, Fabinho and striker Roberto Firmino would be available for selection, to which the 28-year-old responded with a praying emoji.  

Firmino remains injured but boss Jurgen Klopp was clear in his displeasure at the rule when he spoke to the media on Friday.  

“Bobby (Roberto Firmino) will not be available because of injury. It’s a really tricky situation. We shouldn’t forget the players wanted to play these games (for Brazil) and clubs wanted to let them go but it just was not possible,” Klopp told reporters on Friday. 

“The real punishment is for the players. They can’t play which is what they love to do. But the clubs too. That’s really not okay.

“The players love to play, that’s what they do. It’s really not okay, we didn’t decide the players couldn’t go. We’re still in a pandemic.  

“We have to be on top of that until the end of it. We get tested three times a week and that means [if any positives] we quarantine.

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“Brazil played 1.30am this morning (UK) time, they won all three games and still there is a complaint. Before the last break I met [Arsene] Wenger and he showed me his new World Cup plans.  

“In that moment I got the message from our guys: ‘no exemptions from government for our players.’”

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Man City boss Pep Guardiola risked a FIFA sanction by suggesting that he would prepare his South American players to feature for the Premier League champions against Leicester City.  

FIFA’s rules state that clubs risk a 3-0 forfeit if they breach the five-day ban. Players also face being reprimanded.  

“Right now I’m thinking they will play,” the 50-year-old said. “They are going to travel and be ready to play. Maybe we’ll have a letter from FIFA or the Premier League.

“We never said don’t go to play for the national teams. But if they travel, they cannot play and if they stay here they are banned. 

“What do you do? If they go it is 10 days’ isolation in a hotel. If they don’t go it’s five days they can’t play. It’s crazy.”
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