Blackburn Rovers star Ben Brereton Diaz is set to miss the club’s next two fixtures after they refused to release the forward for international duty with Chile.
The 22-year-old made his debut for the South American nation over the summer and has become an instant star, netting his first goal in the Copa America and has also starred in a Pepsi advert in the country.
But a club versus country row has embroiled in recent weeks for many English outfits as a number of countries on the continent that players would be playing in are listed as ‘red zones’, which means that players would be forced to quarantine in government-assigned hotels for 10 days and potentially miss up to four matches.
The Premier League and EFL, along with other leagues across Europe, refused to release their players for international duty for matches in red zone nations, which has led to the Chilean FA requesting to FIFA that sanctions be placed upon Rovers for not letting Brereton Diaz join up with the squad.
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FIFA are understood to have contacted Rovers, per the Lancashire Telegraph, and Brereton Diaz is set to be banned for a five-day period following the international break, meaning he will miss matches against Luton Town and Hull City.
This could all be resolved amicably between club and nation, however it looks as though Chile are sticking to their guns.
Their stance seems to be if they can’t use Brereton Diaz then Blackburn shouldn’t be allowed to use him for the same period of time either, and that would be a big blow to Tony Mowbray’s selection plans next week.
Blackburn’s failure to recruit a striker in the transfer market following the departure of Adam Armstrong to Southampton means Sam Gallagher is set to be the only other senior out-and-out striker available for the next two matches.
You can understand Chile’s frustrations though but this isn’t just happening to Brereton Diaz – a number of British-based players are affected by government policy and some clubs are set to be punished because of it.