Brazil-Argentina qualifier suspended after health officials enter pitch
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Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni has admitted he feels ‘very sad’ after their match with Brazil was called off on Sunday night. Health officials stormed the stadium to evacuate four of his players, all of whom play in the Premier League. And the match was ultimately postponed after the dramatic scenes that took place.
Health officials went onto the field of play after just six minutes to remove the four Premier League players.
Tottenham pair Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso were two of the wanted men, with Aston Villa duo Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez also in their sights.
The Argentine Premier League players were accused of breaking Covid quarantine rules and falsifying documents to enter Brazil illegally.
Brazilian authorities believed they hadn’t isolated upon going to the country, which is currently on the red list.
Three of the four players were on the pitch, with Buendia watching on from the bench.
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And, in the end, the South American Football Federation Conmebol confirmed the sus[ension of the fixture.
They said in a statement: “By decision of the match referee, the match organised 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 followed. These procedures strictly adhere to current regulations.
“The World Cup Qualifiers is a Fifa competition. All decisions concerning its organization and development are the exclusive power of that institution.”
And Argentina boss Scaloni has also spoken out, admitting he’s ‘very sad’ and insisting the situation shouldn’t have been allowed to happen.
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“It makes me very sad,” he said.
“I am not looking for any culprits. Whether or not something happened, it was not the time to make that intervention.
“It should have been a party for everyone, to enjoy the best players in the world. I would like the people of Argentina to understand that as a coach I have to defend my players.
“At no time were we notified that they could not play the match.
“We wanted to play the game, the players from Brazil too.”
Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentina Football Association, also said: “What happened today is a very bad image.
“Four people entered to interrupt the game and Conmebol asked the players to go back to the dressing room.
“You cannot talk about any lie here because there is health legislation under which all South American tournaments are played. The health authorities of each country approved a protocol that we have been fully complying with.”
At the moment, no date for the rearranged fixture has been set.
And when it gets played ultimately remains to be seen.
Before the game, meanwhile, Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa had released a statement saying all four players involved must isolate.
“Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk,” they said.
“And so has asked the local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from participating in any activity and should be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil.”
Argentina vs Brazil is one of football’s fiercest rivalries.
And this memorable evening will be remembered for years to come due to the chaotic scenes that took place.
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