Fabinho ‘understands’ Brazil stance as he opens up on FIFA ban

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho admits he still doesn’t know if he will be able to play against Leeds United this weekend and hopes for “a solution” soon.

The Brazilian football federation (CBF) has written to FIFA asking that an automatic restriction be placed on the players from appearing for their clubs between September 10 and 14.

The players are Ederson and Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Fred at Manchester United, Thiago Silva at Chelsea and Raphinha at Leeds.

The CBF did not request a restriction be placed on Everton forward Richarlison, who was released by the club to play for his country at the Olympic Games this summer.

FIFA in turn has contacted the Football Association and the clubs concerned regarding the Brazilian federation’s request. The world governing body may impose sanctions if the players do feature for their clubs when classed as being ineligible.

Liverpool yesterday remained determined that their Brazilian players should be allowed to play this weekend despite being banned by FIFA.

And Fabinho admits he is still unsure what is going on, he told ESPN Brasil: “It’s a difficult situation, because we want to defend our country, we want to play for the Brazilian team.

“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.

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“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.”

Fabinho added: “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.”

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