Argentina Select Three Premier League Players for World Cup Qualifiers

The Argentinian national football team has chosen three players from the English Premier League for the World Cup qualifiers even though the nation is in the travel red list of the United Kingdom.

In August this year, a lot of English sides refused to release their South American players to play on their national side for the qualifiers.

The Argentinian players need not go under quarantine after they land in the country from abroad if they are already vaccinated and tested negative for the coronavirus. However, anyone landing in the UK from Argentina will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine.

Argentina choose three EPL players

Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero along with Aston Villa’s goalie Emiliano Martinez were chosen by Argentina side coach Lionel Scaloni on Monday as part of his 30-man team for their matches on October 8 to 15 against Paraguay, Uruguay, and Peru.

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This weekend, both Tottenham and Villa have fixtures in the Premier League on October 16 and 17.

The Argentinian coach, however, decided to not choose Villa midfielder Emiliano Buendia who was also involved in the suspended game incident that happened this month with Brazil along with the three summoned players.

Proposed release

Last August, the Premier League said in a statement that the clubs are reluctant but collectively decided that they will not release their players for the games in red list countries during the international break this September. 

However, Villa revealed that Martinez along with his fellow countryman Emiliano Buendia will accompany their national team. Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo said that they cannot stop Lo Celso and Romero from joining their national side because he knows that the two will not be available to play one EPL match upon their return.

Brazil versus Argentina match debacle

The decision to release the players has led to the chaotic but ludicrous scenes at the World Cup qualifier of Argentina versus Brazil in which the match was halted when Brazilian health authorities rushed into the pitch to stop the match allegedly claiming that the four Premier League players had violated quarantine protocols. 

The quartet, however, flew via Croatia to avoid being quarantined on their arrival in the United Kingdom. 

FIFA’s stand

World football governing body FIFA has urged the British government to loosen the quarantine requirements for England-based athletes to go to South America for the qualifiers so that they will not be subjected anymore to the mandatory quarantine of 10 days upon their return to England. 

Also, FIFA still has not yet decided about the final outcome of the laughable Brazil versus Argentina match which was stopped due to the allegations that Lo Celso, Martinez, Romero, and Buendia have breached the quarantine protocols.

FIFA has the authority to implement a five-day suspension for players who are not released to play for their national teams. 

As for now, Argentina is six points behind their long-time rival Brazil at the qualifying group for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, with only five wins over their eight matches.

Official squad line-up

Lionel Messi will lead the 30-man team for their continued campaign in the qualifying round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup next month. 

The BBC football team will consist of the likes of Juan Musso from Atalanta, Franco Armani from River Plate, and Esteban Andrada from Monterrey for their goalkeeper line-up.

As for the defenders, names came up such as, Nicolas Otamendi of Benfica, Lisandro Martinez, Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel from Sevilla, Lucas Martinez Quarta of Fiorentina and Juan Foyth of Villareal.

The midfielders list consists of Guido Rodriguez of Betis, Nicolas Dominguez of Bologna, Rodrigo De Paul from Atletico Madrid, Leandro Paredes of PSG, Exequiel Palacios of Bayern Leverkusen, among others.

Lastly, the forwards will be led by Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria from PSG, Joaquin Correa from Inter Milan, Julian Alvarez of River Plate, Paulo Dybala of Juventus, and others.

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