Fifa ‘regrets’ Brazil-Argentina scenes

Officials stop play during Brazil v Argentina

Fifa says it “regrets” the scenes leading to the suspension of Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifier which stopped “millions of fans” from enjoying the game.

Sunday’s match was abandoned just after kick-off after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they say broke quarantine rules.

Fifa said it had received the first reports from match officials, which will now be analysed by “the competent disciplinary bodies”.

No date for the rearranged fixture has been set.

“Fifa regrets the scenes preceding the suspension of the match between Brazil and Argentina for the Conmebol qualifiers of the Fifa World Cup 2022 which prevented millions of fans from enjoying a match between two of the most important football nations in the world,” world football’s governing body said in a statement.

“The first match official reports have been sent to Fifa. This information will be analysed by the competent disciplinary bodies and a decision will be taken in due course.”

What happened?

Sunday’s match at Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena was abandoned after five minutes when Brazilian health officials came on to the pitch.

The dramatic intervention came hours after Brazil’s health authorities had said four England-based players for Argentina had to quarantine.

Under Brazilian rules, visitors who have been in the UK in the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

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. Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero all started the game.

Brazilian health agency Anvisa said the four players provided “false information” and “failed to comply” with local laws.

It said after it realised false information had been provided on Friday, it held a meeting with the “institutions involved” on Saturday to inform them of the need to quarantine.

Despite this, the players still trained on Saturday night. On Sunday, Anvisa enlisted the help of the federal police to enforce quarantine, only to have their attempts “frustrated”.

The Argentine Football Association said the team had been in Brazil since 3 September and had complied with all the health protocols, while Brazilian Football Confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues criticised the health officials for the timing of their intervention.

Around an hour after the game was stopped, South American football’s governing body Conmebol said in a statement the match had been suspended.

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