A quartet of Premier League stars will not be permitted to line out for their country as part of the next international break, it has been confirmed.
The players in question? Tottenham pair Cristiano Romero and Giovani Lo Celso (currently on loan at Villarreal), and Aston Villa duo Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia.
The sanctions come on the part of FIFA, who have found all four Argentine stars guilty of ‘failing to comply with the FIFA Return to Football International Match Protocol’.
This comes on the back of the fallout from Argentina’s World Cup qualifying showdown with Brazil back in September.
On an altogether bizarre night in Sao Paulo, play between South America’s two biggest footballing nations was abandoned after just seven minutes, as Brazilian health authorities made their way onto the pitch, in attempts to remove all of Romero, Lo Celso, Martinez and Buendia from the field of play.
All four, in turn, will now face the consequences of failing to comply with Brazilian national laws surrounding Covid-19.
Lionel Scaloni’s will therefore be unable to call the Aston Villa and Tottenham stars up for either of Argentina’s next two fixtures, one of which could well come in the form of the rearranged showdown between the Albiceleste and Brazil.
Four Argentine Premier League players – Emi Buendia, Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero – have been banned for two international matches for “not complying with FIFA’s return to football protocol”. pic.twitter.com/sIKbuEGSCW
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 14, 2022
Whilst those in a position of power in the Argentine national setup will no doubt be disappointed to hear of the sanction handed down by FIFA to the nation’s stars, in truth, the decision is of little real importance.
This comes with both of the Albiceleste’s fixtures pencilled in for March coming in the form of qualifiers for this year’s World Cup.
Argentina, for their part, have already booked a spot at the Qatar showpiece, owing to a hugely impressive record of ten wins and five draws across the country’s fifteen qualifiers to date, good enough for 2nd spot in the CONMEBOL standings behind only Brazil.
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