Richarlison is expected to be available for Everton against Burnley on Monday after Brazil opted not to invoke the five-day rule that is set to rule eight other Brazilian Premier League players out of action.
FIFA regulations state that players can be ruled out five days after an international break should their clubs refuse to release them for international duty. It is designed to prevent clubs from tactically withdrawing their players in order to protect them for league games immediately after the fixtures.
In this case six clubs including Everton refused to release their Brazilian players because Brazil is currently on the UK Government’s coronavirus red list, meaning they would have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return.
However, the BBC is reporting that Brazil have not requested Richarlison be prevented from playing because the Toffees allowed the forward to play at the Olympics when they did not have to, so they believe it is fair to show leniency in this case.
Liverpool, Man City, Leeds, Man Utd and Chelsea are the teams affected, meaning Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Alisson, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha, Thiago Silva and Fred will all be ruled out of this weekend’s action.
Mexico, Paraguay and Chile have also invoked the rule, meaning Wolves’ Raul Jimenez, Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron and Watford’s Francisco Sierralta will be unavailable this weekend.
It is an unexpected bonus for Everton and perhaps just reward for their generosity in allowing Richarlison to play in Tokyo despite having just returned from the Copa America. It meant the 24-year-old had no summer break at all as he was back in Premier League action within days of returning from Japan.
Everton said last month that they hoped to give Richarlison a break at some stage, with the 16-day gap between last month’s win at Brighton and Monday’s clash with the Clarets an ideal chance for him to get a breather.
It’s not a lot, certainly compared to the five/six weeks non-international players usually get over the summer, but it is better than nothing and will hopefully prevent complete burnout.
However, with two more international breaks scheduled before the end of the year it’s uncertain whether Brazil will be quite so lenient next time.
Clubs may again refuse to release their players and accept the five-day rule is better than a player travelling across the globe before quarantining for 10 days on their return. However, that would likely severely damage relations between the clubs and the respective countries.
This is an issue that is likely to rumble on for a few more months yet.