Brazil-Argentina Match abandoned after health officials try to deport four visiting players

September 6, 2021

The match was interrupted by health officials and police spilling on to the pitch as an argument erupted on the sidelines in farcical scenes, and the game was eventually abandoned
The high-profile World Cup qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina at the Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo on Sunday evening was abandoned after only a few minutes after Brazilian authorities attempted to detain four Premier League players for failing to quarantine.
The dramatic intervention came hours after Brazil’s health authorities had said four England-based players for Argentina had to quarantine.
Although it did not name the four, the players with English Premier League clubs are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa, and Giovani lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur.
Covid rules in Brazil state that arrivals from the UK must quarantine for 14 days, prompting the country’s health regulator Anvisa to demand the immediate isolation of four players before kick-off who had not followed procedure.
However, officials waited until after the match had kicked off before taking action, appearing on the side of the pitch with just a handful of minutes played before confronting some players.
What followed was pandemonium. After a huge on-pitch row, Argentina’s players disappeared down the tunnel while Brazil stood around awkwardly for an hour. Eventually, the match was abandoned.
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni said: “It makes me very sad. I’m not looking for anyone to blame. Whether or not something happened, it was not the time to make that intervention [during the game]. It should have been a celebration 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, as did the players from Brazil.”
The South American Football Confederation Conmebol announced that the match had been suspended and the referee and match delegate would now provide a report for Fifa’s disciplinary committee, which would decide what action to take.

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