The World Cup Qualifier between Brazil and Argentina on Sunday evening was deserted after Brazilian well being officers entered the pitch in a row over Covid guidelines.
The officers marched onto the sector shortly after kick-off and confronted the Argentina gamers, who left the sector whereas the 2 managers – together with Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Brazil’s gamers – gathered to debate the stoppage.
The South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL later confirmed the sport – which was 0-0 when it was stopped – had been known as off by the referee, who they stated would submit a disciplinary report back to FIFA.
Antonio Barra Torres, the president of Brazil’s well being company Anvisa, stated 4 Argentina gamers might be fined and deported for allegedly not following the nation’s Covid protocols.
Anvisa had sought the rapid isolation of the 4 gamers simply hours earlier than the sport in Sao Paulo.
Underneath Brazilian guidelines, guests who’ve been within the UK within the 14 days earlier than coming into the nation should quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Though Anvisa didn’t title the 4, the gamers with Premier League golf equipment are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham.
Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero had been named in Argentina’s beginning line-up, whereas Buendia didn’t make the squad.
How Brazil vs Argentina abandonment unfolded
– 6pm: Brazil’s well being regulator Anvisa seeks the rapid isolation of 4 Argentina gamers simply hours earlier than they’re because of face Brazil in a World Cup qualifier in Sao Paulo.
– 8pm: Brazil vs Argentina kicks-off as deliberate.
– 8:06pm: Play is halted as well being officers stroll onto the pitch to seemingly attempt to take away Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham from the pitch.
– 8:11pm: The sport is suspended as Argentina gamers head again to the dressing room.
– 8:18pm: Lionel Messi seems to attempt to negotiate with the authorities however his team-mates stay within the dressing room.
– 8.40pm: Experiences recommend a bus is en path to escort the Argentina crew away from the stadium.
– 8:50pm: The sport is deserted.
“Anvisa considers the scenario a critical well being threat and so has requested native well being authorities to find out the rapid quarantine of the gamers, who’re stopped from collaborating in any exercise and must be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil,” Anvisa stated in a press release forward of kick-off.
The Argentine squad flew into Brazil on Friday, the day after beating Venezuela 3-1 in a World Cup Qualifier in Caracas.
Anvisa had been tipped off that the 4 gamers didn’t state they’d been within the UK throughout the final two weeks on their immigration types. The well being regulator confirmed the small print the gamers gave had been “false”.
Argentina supervisor Lionel Scaloni insisted his facet weren’t knowledgeable they may not take the sector, telling reporters after the sport: “I’ve come right here in order that our nation can discover out what’s occurred. It makes me very unhappy.
“I am not trying to discover any responsible events. Whether or not one thing occurred or not, it wasn’t the suitable time for that intervention.
“It ought to’ve been a footballing spectacle for everybody to get pleasure from one of the best gamers on this planet. I might just like the Argentine individuals to know that because the nationwide crew coach, I’ve to defend my gamers.
“At no level had been we notified that they could not play. We wished to play the sport, as did the Brazil gamers.”
Argentine FA president Claudio Tapia added his gamers had not lied about being within the UK earlier than coming into Brazil, saying: “There cannot be any speak of lies right here as a result of there’s well being laws below which all South American competitions are performed.
“Well being authorities in each nation permitted a protocol that now we have been totally compliant with.
“What’s occurred right this moment is horrible for soccer and sends out a really dangerous picture. 4 individuals interrupted the sport to tell us of one thing and CONMEBOL requested the gamers to go to the dressing room.”
Sky Sports activities Information has approached FIFA for remark.
The abandonment comes amid persevering with anger in South America at guidelines which have prevented a number of groups from utilizing key gamers for this month’s three World Cup qualifiers.
Brazil had been with out 9 key males for the Argentina recreation, and different South American sides have additionally misplaced gamers because of a call by some European golf equipment to not let their gamers journey to the continent.
They must quarantine on return and the golf equipment don’t need to lose their gamers for subsequent league video games.
Aston Villa stated Martinez and Buendia had agreed to return to the membership after the Brazil recreation and miss Argentina’s match in opposition to Bolivia on Tuesday. The Argentine Soccer Affiliation, nonetheless, stated they’d play all three video games.