Liverpool midfielder Fabinho says he understands the position of both the Premier League and the Brazilian FA following his ban for this weekend’s trip to face Leeds.
Fabinho is one of eight Brazilians set to be banned for this weekend’s round of fixtures, the Selecao invoking a FIFA ruling to force them to miss five days of action after the Premier League unanimously refused to allow players to travel to countries on the government red list.
The ban is set to affect Liverpool the most, with Alisson and Roberto Firmino set to join Fabinho on the sidelines this weekend, while Man City duo Gabriel Jesus and Ederson, Man Utd’s Fred, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Leeds’ Raphinha are also banned.
However, despite the frustration, Fabinho admits he can see both sides of the argument.
“It’s a difficult situation, because we want to defend our country, we want to play for the Brazilian team,” he told ESPN Brazil.
“But I don’t think it’s just between club and national team. It’s a government rule, I don’t think the English FA could change that, I think. I believe that FIFA would not be able to change either, neither Conmebol nor the CBF.
“We players are in the middle of this kind of dispute, right, without much to do. Because it was a Premier League decision not to release us. And on the one hand, we even understand, because on the way back I would have to stay 10 days in a hotel. Maybe lose three games. And 10 days is enough for you to lose a game rhythm. So it’s hard.
“But we also understand the side of the national team, that the national team cannot have nine players. Nine players, that’s a lot of players. So we stay in the middle of this dispute hoping that there is really a solution.”
Reports have suggested that the Premier League are still looking to overturn the ruling.
“I still don’t know if I’ll be able to play, there’s this punishment from FIFA. But if they are giving punishment, let them also bring us some solution, because we are waiting for this solution.
“We want to go to Brazil, we want to defend the Brazilian team. And we really hope that there’s a solution so that we can go back and forth without any problems.”