Soccer-Wolves boss Lage thanks Mexico for Jimenez compromise

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - August 22, 2021 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez reacts Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

September 10, 2021

(Reuters) – Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Bruno Lage thanked the Mexican Football Federation on Friday for arriving at a compromise that allowed striker Raul Jimenez to be available for Saturday’s Premier League match against Watford.

Wolves said the Mexican FA enquired about Jimenez being banned from playing under FIFA regulations after the 30-year-old did not travel for international duty last week as he would have had to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel on his return to England.

Wolves said they had reached a compromise with Mexico, meaning the player had been cleared for selection by Lage.

“It’s a good decision by everyone, especially by Mexico,” Lage said. “I didn’t talk to them personally but I know the club talked and we arrived at a good solution.

“We’re thankful that we can use Raul because the game is about putting the best players on the pitch.”

Premier League clubs are set to face sanctions from FIFA if they play South American players, who were not released for international duty, in this weekend’s games.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) triggered the “automatic restriction period” of five days which stops clubs picking players who have not been released, leaving many top clubs without key players.

Lage said soccer governing bodies and federations must find a viable solution ahead of the next international break in October.

“I don’t know (if fewer players will travel in October break), but we have one month to understand what really is going to happen and I think the people will take the best decision,” he added.

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)