Brazil v Argentina dropped five minutes after kick-off after visiting players accused of Covid violation

Argentinian players left the field shortly after health authorities stopped play

Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers were dropped just minutes after kick-off on Sunday after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentinian players who they said violated quarantine rules.

The visitors left the Corinthians Arena pitch after officials stepped outside to stop the match.

The dramatic intervention came hours after health officials in Brazil said four England-based players for Argentina needed to self-quarantine.

Although he has not named the four, the players from the English Premier League clubs are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez from Aston Villa, and Giovani lo Celso and Cristian Romero from Tottenham Hotspur.

Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero all started the game in Sao Paulo.

No date has been set for the revamped match, with Argentina players leaving to prepare for their next World Cup qualifier – at home against Bolivia on Friday, September 10.

Fifa will now be gathering evidence from all sides to fully understand the events leading up to the match’s suspension before deciding on the most appropriate course of action.

Lionel messi
Argentina’s Lionel Messi, center, tried to get a resolution after the initial stoppage of play

About an hour after the match was over and as the Brazilian players set up an impromptu training session on the pitch, South American football’s governing body, Conmebol said in a statement:external link “By decision of the match referee, the match organized by FIFA between Brazil and Argentina for the World Cup qualifiers is suspended.

“The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to be taken. These procedures are strictly in accordance with the regulations in force.”

Under Brazilian rules, visitors who have stayed in the UK within 14 days of entering the country must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

“We got to this point because everything that ANVISA ran, from the first moment, was not fulfilled,” Antonio Barra Torres, director of Brazilian health regulator Anvisa, told Brazilian television. according to AFP.

“[The four players] were ordered to remain isolated while awaiting deportation, but they did not comply. They went to the stadium and they entered the field, in a series of breaches, “added the official.

“At no time were we informed that we could not play”

Brazil-Argentina arrested after health regulatory concerns over covid
Brazilian players started impromptu training session after match was suspended

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni said it was disappointing that a resolution could not be found before the game started.

“It makes me very sad,” he said. “I’m not looking for any culprits. If something happened or didn’t, now was not the time to do this intervention.

“It should have been a party for everyone, to enjoy the best players in the world. I would like the Argentine people to understand that as a coach I have to defend my players.

“At no time were we informed that they could not play the game. We wanted to play the game, the Brazilian footballers too.”

Argentinian Football Association notedexternal link the team had been in Brazil since September 3 and had followed all health protocols.

“Football should not have these kinds of episodes which undermine the sportsmanship of such an important competition,” he said.

The president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues, criticized health officials for the timing of their intervention.

“I’m sorry for all the sports fans who wanted to watch the game on TV,” he told Brazilian Sportv.

“With all due respect to Anvisa, they could have solved this earlier and not waited for the game to start.”

‘Farcical’ – analysis

BBC Sport South American football expert Tim Vickery on BBC Radio 5 Live

“What a ridiculous way to mark one of the great games in world football.

“The game started and we were five minutes into the game, and we wandered the pitch with a number of health officials and by that time it became clear that we weren’t going to have a game. today.

“Argentina, who have another game on Thursday against Bolivia, took him to the airport without playing the game.”

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