Liverpool have taken a big decision on Naby Keita for the upcoming Fifa international break.
The Reds have decided that they will recall Naby Keita early from this month’s international break to avoid being without the midfielder for a key part of the season.
Keita will only be allowed to feature in Guinea’s home clash against Mali, but he won’t be able to travel to Southern Africa to face Namibia three days later.
Last month, Fifa confirmed that clubs do not have to release players for national duty for the upcoming fixtures if they would subsequently be without them due to Covid19 protocols.
Under the new United Kingdom Government restrictions, players who travelled to countries that are part of the red-list travel ban category would have to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days upon their return to the country.
Guinea will host Mali on the 24th of March before facing Namibia at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek four days later.
To qualify for Afcon, Guinea need at least one win from their remaining two games and Keita might play an important role in the home game against the Malians. Mali lead the pack with seven points followed closely by Guinea with six points. Namibia have three points while Chad are rooted at the bottom of the standings with two points.
If Keita was going to travel for the Namibia encounter, he would be ruled out of the Premier League trip to Arsenal on 4 April and the first leg of the Uefa Champions League quarter-final three days later.
Keita is the only Liverpool player who will have his international commitments disrupted by the quarantine ruling.
Liverpool are currently sixth on the Premier League table with 46 points from 29 games. They have been struggling to get good results in the league in recent weeks and manager Jurgen Klopp will be expected to drive the former champions to at least a top four finish at the end of the season.
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By Prince Sobayeni