Health officials ran onto the pitch between the match of the World Cup qualifier. The match was between Brazil and Argentina. The match has been abandoned due to Argentine players accused of breaching COVID-19 protocols.
Brazil’s World Cup qualifying clash against Argentina was sensationally abandoned. It was too short. After kick-off on Sunday as controversy over COVID-19 protocols erupted the match. Amid incredible scenes at Sao Paulo’s Neo Quimica Arena, the match between the two giants of South American football was halted.
Then Brazilian health officials ran onto the pitch and he is triggering a melee involving team officials. Also, players from both sides. The stunning intervention came just hours after health authorities in Brazil said four England-based players in Argentina’s squad should be placed in “immediate quarantine” for breaching COVID-19 protocols.
According to Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), Premier League players Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa), and Cristian Romero (Tottenham) provided “false information” upon their entry to Brazil.
Romero, Lo Celso, and Martinez were in Argentina starting line-up that kicked off Sunday’s game — prompting the surreal intervention of ANVISA officials.
The four players were accused of failing to disclose that they had spent time in the United Kingdom in the 14 days before they arrived in Brazil, where COVID-19 has claimed more than 580,000 lives.
What officials have told:
Argentina captain Lionel Messi and his teammates trooped off the field as confusion reigned over the fate of the game.
Messi later hit out at the intervention by Brazilian officials.
“We’ve been here for three days, why are you doing this just now?” he said on Argentina’s TyC network.
Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni was similarly incensed. He has told media that “at no time were we told that they could not play the game.”
Argentina was due to fly back to Buenos Aires later Sunday on a charter flight.
Argentina Football Association president Claudio Tapia said the federation had followed FIFA protocols for the game, pushing back at the claim that players had falsified entry records.
“It is not possible to speak of any lie,” Tapia said.
“Series of breaches”
Brazilian officials were unrepentant about the decision to halt the game, however.
“We got to this point because everything that ANVISA directed, from the first moment, was not fulfilled,” ANVISA director Antonio Barra Torres said on Brazilian television.
The four players “were directed 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,” the official added.
A government order dating from June 23. It prohibits the entry into Brazilian territory of any foreign person. Also, if the person is from the United Kingdom, India, or South Africa. This rule has been made to prevent the spread of variants of the coronavirus.