Thiago Silva will be absent for Saturday’s trip to Brentford due to his involvement in Brazil’s World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay, Chelsea have announced.
The 37-year-old played the full 90 minutes as the Selecao beat their visitors 4-1 on Thursday, edging closer to securing their spot at Qatar 2022.
Although the match was technically a Thursday kick-off in Manaus, it did not finish until 03:30 BST – Silva would have just 38 hours, including a hefty journey, between the two matches if expected to play in both.
Chelsea stated on their official website: “On Saturday, the Blues will be without the experienced Thiago Silva, whose match for Brazil did not finish until 3.30am Friday UK time.
“Providing Toni Rudiger is available, the resources at centre-back are there to cope.”
Such situations have been commonplace since FIFA implemented “a change to the men’s international match calendar in a response to global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
South American qualifiers had to be postponed in March 2021 and CONMEBOL, the region’s governing body, requested for those fixtures to be “recovered” by squeezing an additional match into each of the international windows of September and October.
Some Premier League clubs – including Chelsea – refused to release their South American players last month over quarantining fears, which led to CONMEBOL urging FIFA to issue 10-day bans on the teams and players involved.
While clubs escaped sanctions, this month they have not withheld players from joining up with their international squads, and as many as six Premier League players started the win over Uruguay.
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