With South America currently on the UK’s ‘red list’, any players travelling to countries on the continent for international fixtures this month would have been required to quarantine for 10 days on their return.
But Jurgen Klopp confirmed the club’s intention to block any request for the release of their players if they would need to quarantine on their arrival back in England, which was echoed by the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.
As the majority of countries involved were therefore facing problems with building competitive squads for their World Cup qualifiers, the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) have now postponed all fixtures.
CONMEBOL announced their decision on Saturday evening, with no dates set for the qualifiers to be played as of yet.
This spares Liverpool and their fellow Premier League sides any ‘club vs. country’ issues arising, and allows their South American players to rest and train through the international break.
Portugal is on the red list, while Guinea travel to another red list country, Namibia, for one of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which would therefore see Jota and Keita required to quarantine.
It was also claimed that Sadio Mane would face a similar situation, but this was falsely reported as Senegal will take on Congo, not DR Congo, with only the latter on the red list.
It remains to be seen if CONMEBOL’s decision will set a precedent, though it would certainly be sensible for all internationals to be postponed given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19.