'That’s how it is' - Jurgen Klopp provides update on Liverpool trio ahead of Leeds clash
Jurgen Klopp has slammed the Brazilian FA and FIFA as he has expressed his confinement behind the governing bodies' decision to "punish" the Premier League's Brazilian players by imposing a five-day ban.
Liverpool and Klopp were notified on Wednesday afternoon that they would not be able to select Roberto Firmino [Injury], Fabinho or Alisson Becker for the Reds' trip to Elland Road on Sunday afternoon.
FIFA had invoked article 5 which meant that there would be a five-day [from 9th-14th September] ban on Brazilian players representing Premier League club's, apart from Richarlison of Everton.
The decision came after the Brazilian FA had called up a host of Premier League players for their World Cup qualifiers, however, due to Brazil currently being listed on the United Kingdom's red-list [something that requires a ten-day quarantine on return], the Premier League decided to block their players from participating in any fixtures played in red-listed countries. Meaning that Brazil were without a whole host of key players.
And speaking to Liverpoolfc.com ahead of his side's trip to Elland Road on Sunday, where they could be without key first-team players, Klopp gave his view on the unsavoury events of the previous 48-hours.
“The thing I want to say about that is just, let’s look at the full case. So, we all know we are in the middle of a pandemic, which is difficult for all parts of life and for football it was difficult as well.
"We have a few more games to play than we have to play usually internationally. We had a summer break where all of a sudden somebody organised again a Copa America, where they could have played the games, for example, without playing a Copa America, which they had a year before.
“But people decide without us these kind of things. OK, nobody cares, that’s how it is. They play a Copa America, then they still have more games to play. Then a week or 10 days before the international break we get, ‘OK, we play now three games and the last game is on Thursday night.’
"Friday [10th September] morning, 1.20am, would have been Brazil against Peru. We have nothing to do with that, we cannot decide anything about it, we just read these things.
“Then we have to think, ‘OK, clear, they are invited.’ But when they come back they have to quarantine [for] 10 days. Again, it’s not our decision, we didn’t say they have to quarantine [for] 10 days, we didn’t say you have to go to the national team, we can’t say nothing – we just sit in between and we think, ‘OK, what’s going on?'
If Liverpool had decided to release their Brazilian stars then, like Leeds' Raphinha, they would have been forced to carry out a ten-day quarantine in a hotel, with only basic meals being provided. Something that would have had a devastating impact on the bodies of the players according to Klopp.
“Our players, if they come back then they have to quarantine 10 days in a random hotel, next to the airport probably, which is not good for any people who have to do that but for a professional football player, being 10 days in a hotel – with the food they get from there – you lose everything. You lose muscle, you lose everything. It means 10 days in the hotel, coming back [and] needing pretty much 10 days to get on track again.
“OK, then the decision was made, not by us: if that’s like this then the players cannot go. OK, they go, other players go, some clubs let their Argentina players go. There’s a game in Brazil against Argentina, officials come on to the pitch, nobody wants to see situations like that. Get the game cancelled, stopped in that moment.
“And now, the next thing, we have a football game to play again and they tell us we cannot play our Brazilian players. It’s like, ‘Huh?’ So, we did nothing. We didn’t organise the Copa America, we are not responsible for the games they couldn’t have played. We didn’t invite players, we didn’t say when they come back there’s no exemption. We all didn’t do that.
“So I don’t know what will happen at the weekend, to be honest. In this moment, we have to see what other people decide and then we will again accept that probably, do what people tell us and try to win a football game."