Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he still does not know whether Alisson and Fabinho will be available for Liverpool’s clash against Leeds United this weekend.
It is expected that the pair will be handed a five-day suspension by FIFA after their club blocked them from going on international duty last week. Following pressure from the Brazilian FA, FIFA moved to ban the players, as preventing international call-ups is against the federation’s rules.
Although talks are ongoing – with the Premier League clubs affected confident of the suspensions being overturned – Klopp admitted that he was still not sure whether the duo could play on Sunday.
“I can say what I know: I don’t know in the moment,” the Reds’ boss said. “We will see, there are meetings going on.
“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. Okay, nobody cares, that’s how it is. Then a week or 10 days before the international break we get ‘Okay, we play now three games and the last game is on Thursday night’. Actually, Friday morning.
“So we have nothing to do with that. Friday morning, by the way. We have nothing to do with that, we cannot decide anything about it, we just read these things.”
Clearly irritated by the situation, Klopp continued to rant, adding: “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?’
“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.
“But in the end the only [people] who get punished are the players and the clubs – and we have nothing to do with the whole organisation around. It’s like, ‘What is happening?’”