Eight Premier League players could miss the weekend’s fixtures after sources told ESPN the Brazilian FA invoked a FIFA rule that prevents players from featuring for their clubs if they are not released for international duty.
As a result, Manchester City face the prospect of picking third-choice goalkeeper Scott Carson for their Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday, should Brazilian first-choice Ederson be prevented from playing. No. 2 goalkeeper Zack Steffen is out after testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with the United States.
The Premier League stopped players from joining up with their national teams if it requires travelling to countries on the British government’s “red list,” which triggers a 10-day hotel quarantine on return.
Carson, the 36-year-old former England goalkeeper, has made just one senior appearance since moving to the Etihad Stadium from Derby County, initially on loan, in 2019.
Sources have told ESPN that the Premier League are in discussions with both Brazilian authorities and FIFA in an attempt to resolve the situation, and there is still hope Ederson will be cleared to play.
As well as City, players from Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Leeds United are also affected.
Under FIFA regulations, players can be banned for five days following the end of an international break. If it is not reversed, United midfielder Fred and Chelsea defender Thiago Silva would miss Champions League games on Tuesday as well as the next round of Premier League fixtures.
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Fabinho and Alisson have been included in the list of players who could also be banned from EPL play, as well as Leeds forward Raphinha, who was called to the Brazil squad for the first time.
Everton’s Richarlison, however, has not been included in the list, as Everton allowed the striker to play at the Olympic Games when regulations did not force them to.
City are hopeful of having Kevin De Bruyne available for the trip to Leicester after the Belgium midfielder returned to training following an ankle injury.