Brazil forced to release Russia-based stars before matches

Brazil celebrate Paqueta’s goal against Peru at Copa America

Brazil players ordered back to Russia before World Cup qualifier

Agency Report

Brazil was already without players from the English Premier League, but now they have had to send back two Russia-based stars ahead of upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Zenit St. Petersburg FC duo, Malcom, and Claudinho have gone back to Russia after constant requests from the club. They had only been called up on Friday.

This has badly hit Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup qualifying matches in Chile later on Thursday, Argentina in Sao Paulo on Sept. 5 and Peru in Recife on Sept. 9.

The Brazilian Football Federation said it had filed a formal complaint with the world governing body FIFA.

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English Premier League clubs had earlier refused to send players to countries on the British government’s so-called coronavirus red list, which included Brazil because it would mean quarantine on their return to Britain.

Argentina will count on their England-based duo, Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia after Aston Villa made an exception.

However, the English club said they could only play in the first two qualifiers, but Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is hoping that they can still feature in all three.

“The players are there to play all three games,” he said.

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