The Premier League returns this weekend following the first round of international matches this season but a number of big stars could be unavailable after a club vs country row emerged during the break.
A number of clubs stand to be punished for refusing to release their South American players over fears that they would have had to quarantine for 10 days upon their return to the UK. As many as 11 players, eight of whom are from Brazil, have been issued five-day bans – commencing on Friday – by Fifa for not reporting for international duty.
Aston Villa and Tottenham were the only clubs to allow their players to travel to red list countries but they will also lose out as those in question are required to quarantine or else travel back to the UK from a green list country, before being allowed to play again.
The South America saga has dominated the headlines, but as ever during international breaks, some players have returned to their clubs in a worse condition than before they left.