Luton boss has no concerns with his internationals as Blackburn expect to be without Chile striker Brereton due to FIFA sanctions

Town manager confident trio have the all-clear to play at Ewood Park

Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:32 pm
Blackburn Rovers' Chile forward Ben Brereton isn't expected to play against Luton tomorrow

Luton boss Nathan Jones doesn’t have any worries about his international players after tomorrow’s opponents Blackburn Rovers are expected to be without leading scorer Ben Brereton following his likely five-day ban by FIFA.

The 22-year-old was called up to the Chile squad last month for their three World Cup qualifiers, but the timing of the games meant Brereton, who has won five caps for his country, wouldn’t have returned until the weekend, ruling him out of the Hatters clash.

He would also have travelled to countries that have been placed on the red list by the UK government, meaning he would be forced to quarantine on his return, missing further games with Hull City and Barnsley.

EFL clubs declared on August 25 that players travelling to such areas wouldn’t be released, as although Rovers were allowed to block such a call-up beforehand, the rules changed earlier in the year, meaning Chile contacted FIFA over imposing sanctions on Rovers for not allowing Brereton to travel.

No official announcement has been made yet, but speaking to the club’s official website, Mowbray is preparing to not be allowed to pick the Stoke born forward, who has three goals already for his side, saying: “That's what I'm planning on (Brereton not being available).

“I've been speaking to the secretary and while we still haven't had any definitive confirmation, we're working off the premise that Ben will miss the next two games.

“I don't get dragged into it, I'm not a politician.

“As I said to the Chilean head of football, I'll just deal with the situation. If you want to complain to FIFA then you can do that.

“As a football coach, I'll pick him if I can and I won't if I can't. Is it fair? Somebody else will decide how fair it is. I pick the team and if he can't play, he can't play."

Luton had two players go away with their countries, Tom Lockyer and Simon Sluga, who were with Wales and Croatia respectively, but fellow trio Pelly-Ruddock Mpaznu, Amari’i Bell and Admiral Muskwe all stayed at home.

Muskwe had initially been called up to the Zimbabwe squad, before being forced to pull out, while Bell had been due to play for Jamaica in one game against Panama on Sunday, but neither materialised.

Jones isn’t expecting to be without any of them due to the FIFA rulings, saying: “We’re okay because there are a few things that have happened, we went down certain routes, and we have no issues.

“Ade Muskwe was actually injured going into the international break anyway, so we had one or two different situations rather than they just didn’t go away and we believe we are all clear.

“It is the world we live in at the minute, we’re at the back end of a pandemic so there is still going to be teething problems.

“This needs to be sorted before the next international break, that is for sure.

“I can only comment on our players and ours are fine.”