Brazil were due to play against Argentina in a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Sao Paulo on Sunday night. However, shortly after kick-off, the tie was halted after health authorities invaded the pitch to detain and deport four Argentinian players that reportedly broke quarantine rules.
The match only lasted just a few minutes before the Brazilian health officials walked onto the pitch and halted the tie.
Specifically, they objected to four members of the Argentina squad taking part in the fixture.
Under Brazilian travel rules, anybody that’s visited the UK within the 14 days leading up to arrival needs to quarantine for two weeks.
The health authority, Anvisa, didn’t mention which players they objected to taking part.
However, the four players that were in the UK recently were Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Emiliano Buendia, and Giovani Lo Celso.
Martinez, Romero and Lo Celso all started the match against Brazil, while Buendia was named in the Argentina squad.
Ahead of kick-off, an Anvisa statement read: “Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk and so has asked 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.”
The South American football governing body, Conmebol, 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.
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“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.”
Martinez and Buendia are both Aston Villa players, whereas Lo Celso and Romero play for Tottenham.
Two hours prior to kick-off, Brazilian health authorities demanded the immediate deportation of the four players.
All four of them reportedly skipped quarantine three days ago, believing they qualified under elite sportsperson privileges.