Emiliano Martínez and Giovani Lo Celso – Spurs players face fines after going against club’s wishes to play in World Cup qualifiers – AP
Tottenham Hotspur did not give Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso permission to meet up with the Argentina squad with the pair facing club fines on their return from South America.
Romero, a £42.5 million summer signing from Atalanta, and Lo Celso are two of the four Premier League players at the centre of the remarkable World Cup qualifying coronavirus row between Argentina and Brazil.
But while Aston Villa had given their Argentine duo, Emiliano Martínez and Emiliao Buendia, permission to play in the fixture that was suspended, Telegraph Sport can reveal Spurs did not give the green light for Romero and Lo Celso to travel.
Premier League clubs had unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red list countries due to Fifa’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.
Unlike Villa, Tottenham stuck to that agreement but were ignored by Romero and Lo Celso, and the pair will have awkward questions to answer on their return. They are set to face club fines for travelling against the wishes of the club.
Davinson Sánchez also went against Tottenham’s wishes by accepting his call-up to the Colombia squad and he too can expect a club fine.
Tottenham are sensitive to the desire of the players to represent their country and also of the pressure that was put on the Premier League players to meet up with the Argentine squad.
But the worst fears of Spurs were realised on Sunday night, when Brazilian health officials claimed Argentina’s Premier League players had broken quarantine rules to play against Brazil by not declaring they had been in the UK in the past.
Under Brazilian rules, visitors who have been in the UK in the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
By meeting up with the Argentine and Colombia squads, Romero, Lo Celso and Sánchez have made themselves unavailable for Tottenham’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Spurs had arranged for the trio to return via Croatia, to serve their isolation without having to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel in England, but it is unclear whether or not Romero and Lo Celso will now be made to return straight back to the UK.
Telegraph Sport understands the Premier League is in contact with the clubs, the Football Association and Fifa to ensure a similar furore does not arise during the next international break in October.
Romero and Lo Celso are believed to have been on the flight that took the Argentina squad back to Buenos Aires on Sunday night ahead of Argentina’s final game of the international break against Bolivia on Friday.
The brother of Villa goalkeeper Martínez, Alejandro, appeared to suggest that plans to send the Premier League players straight to Croatia had been, at least temporarily, scrapped.
Speaking with Radio Rivadavia, Martínez said: “The only thing he knows is that he will not be able to travel from Brazil to Croatia, he is deported and has to go through Argentina.”