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Argentina’s players board plane after threats of arrest in Brazil lead to a suspended match


The two South American giants played under bizarre conditions just five minutes before the game.

Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers ended in chaos on Sunday when health authorities tried to detain several members of the visiting team, causing the match to be suspended.

Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso suspended for World Cup qualification despite the accusation that he falsified travel information during their visit to Brazil, with mandatory quarantine and deportation advised by the Brazilian government for the trio and reserve Emiliano Buendia. The match barely lasted five minutes when numerous officials stormed onto the field to the disbelief of both teams.

But five hours after leaving the stadium under threat of arrest, Argentina boarded their plane to return home.

What happened?

The match in Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians started on Sunday as scheduled, and Brazil are on revenge after the last inverted Copa America in July.

The trio of the Premier League in Argentina traveled to the stadium with the rest of the group earlier in the day, despite the statement of the Brazilian health authority Anvisa that they were banned from participating in activities and ordered immediate isolation before the leaving country.

When five minutes had passed, a number of ordinary police and health officers suddenly entered the playing field to arrest Martinez, Romero, Buendia and Lo Celso.

“It was necessary to keep our sanitary protocol,” said Antonio Barra Torres, head of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (via Globo network). “We called the federal police who went to the hotel and we found out that they had already left for the stadium. The rest are watching you live.”

They were prevented from doing so by the players’ teammates in Argentina, which caused an unpleasant altercation when the match was stopped.

The captain of Argentina, Lionel Messi, immediately led his team back in the tunnel to the locker rooms, and CONMEBOL confirmed that the action would not start again.

Otamendi Acuna Argentina, Brazil 2021

Messi emerged a few minutes later to consult with his Brazil counterparts, most of whom stayed at the Arena Corinthians site.

Late Sunday night, Argentina were able to board their plane to go home.

What is the result of the match?

CONMEBOL said the decision on the outcome would be taken by FIFA pending an investigation.

“The World Cup qualifiers are a FIFA competition,” the South American football governing body wrote in a statement. ‘All decisions concerning the organization and its development are the sole power of the institution.

“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 comply with current regulations.”

Why were the players chased?

The wanted trio and Buendia come from the United Kingdom, which is one of the countries on Brazil’s own red list.

According to national law, foreign travelers from the country must complete a 14-day quarantine after landing.

However, the Argentine Premier League contingent only declared that they were in Caracas, the place where the Albiceleste’s last World Cup qualifier was against Venezuela, and allegedly did not disclose to immigration and health authorities that they were in the United Kingdom. .

While Martinez, Romero, Buendia and Lo Celso received dispensation from their clubs to leave England, other CONMEBOL nations were not so happy, while Brazil lost nine of their team for these qualifiers due to the division’s refusal to to let players go to red list countries. .



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