By Noel Whelan

10th Sep, 2021 | 10:00am

Whelan fumes over 'ridiculous' Raphinha update from Hay ahead of Leeds v Liverpool

Noel Whelan has insisted it is “ridiculous” Raphinha could to be banned for Leeds United after choosing not to travel for international duty.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker admitted it was “upsetting” the 24-year-old was being punished for putting safety first.

As reported by The Athletic’s Phil Hay (8th September), Fifa are likely to enforce a ban on Raphinha for not linking up with the Brazil national team after his call-up.

Fifa are able to suspend players not released by their clubs for a period of up to five days.

As such, Raphinha is set to miss Sunday’s clash against Liverpool.

As revealed by Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani, the player chose not to travel despite his inclusion in the Brazil squad.

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Whelan has slammed those involved over the prospective punishment for the Leeds winger.

Whelan told Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge: “It doesn’t seem right at all. You shouldn’t be put under those kind of pressures.

“If you choose not to go to a game, country-wise, because of the Covid outbreak and because it’s a red zone, your health and safety comes first. That becomes the priority.

“I do find it very upsetting to see that there’s a punishment on someone choosing to be safe rather than representing their country.

“It’s just ridiculous. It’s bizarre they can suspend someone that chooses not to go into a danger zone, so to speak.

“Look at what happened (between Brazil and Argentina). It’s quite incredible, the scenes over there.

“I just think he did the right thing. Your safety and that of other people around you comes first in these situations.”

In other news, Football Insider has revealed which Leeds United starlet is “electrifying” Bielsa and his coaches.