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Blackburn reach agreement with Chilean football federation over Brereton Diaz

Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion – Sky Bet Championship – Ewood Park
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Blackburn have reached an agreement with the Chilean football federation over the release of Ben Brereton Diaz in the October international break.

In a possible sign of things to come with the Premier League’s South American stars, the Championship side announced they had reached a compromise with Chile whereby he will play in their first two qualifiers next month against Peru and Paraguay on October 6 and 9 but miss the final qualifier of the window against Venezuela on October 13.

Rovers said he would return to the UK after the Paraguay game to “begin any required quarantine period and limiting the number of games he would miss for his club”.

Brereton Diaz had been among a group of English-based players who were set to be ineligible to play for their clubs over the weekend after four national associations – Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Paraguay – asked FIFA to apply a restriction over their clubs’ decision not to release the players for international duty in the September window.

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However, it emerged late on Friday night that the demand to enforce the restriction had been dropped following extensive talks with FIFA.

Premier League clubs had agreed collectively at the end of August not to release players for September international duty in countries on the UK Government’s coronavirus ‘red list’.

FIFA said on Saturday there had been “constructive dialogue” with the Government following a letter sent by it, the Football Association and the Premier League to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday in a bid to avoid a repeat of the release dispute next month.

The agreement worked out by Blackburn is similar to that agreed by Aston Villa for the release of their Argentinian duo Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, and may be the template that other clubs and associations follow unless a quarantine exemption is granted by the Government.

Fabinho played - and scored - for Liverpool against Leeds after an agreement was reached to allow him to play

Fabinho played – and scored – for Liverpool against Leeds after an agreement was reached to allow him to play (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rovers manager Tony Mowbray said: “We’ve tried to do a deal with (Chile). They’ve withdrawn their complaint to FIFA, we’ve said that Ben can go in the next international window and let’s see what the world is like then, whether red zone countries are still red zone countries.

“I think we’ve agreed with them that he can play the first two games. In reality, if he plays the third game, he’s going to miss potentially three or four matches for us, with a 10-day quarantine.

“So if he finishes after the second game, comes back, then he probably only misses a game or two for us.

“Let’s see how that works. Our hope is that the world is in a better place in a month’s time and the Government look at the situation with the professional game and see whether there’s going to be an allowance for footballers.”