The much-awaited FIFA World Cup qualifier between Latin America giants Brazil and Argentina had to be suspended on Sunday night as the Brazilian Health Authorities walked on to the pitch during live match in order to detain Argentina players Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero from Tottenham Hotspur. They wanted to detain these players for allegedly breaking the COVID-19 protocols. Another player, Emiliano Buendia of Aston Villa, had not been included in the squad.
It should be noted that the four Argentine footballers from the English Premier League were earlier instructed to quarantine by Brazil's health agency prior to the match between the arch-rivals. Martinez, Beundia, Lo Celso and Romero had arrived to play for Argentina despite the Premier League being reluctant of its players to be released for international duty due to the quarantine of 10 days in a hotel upon their return in England.
The four players were seen getting on the Argentina team bus
The four players, despite the health protocols in place, were seen getting on the Argentina team bus. The country's health agency even ordered the four players to return to their “country of origin” without giving more details. Consequently, the players have been caught up in Brazilian quarantine restrictions. It is being learned that if Argentina and its players did not follow the required Brazilian health protocols, then FIFA will have to award the win to Brazil for this match.
"By decision of the match referee, the match organized by FIFA between Brazil and Argentina for the World Cup Qualifiers is suspended," CONMEBOL, the South American football governing body's official statement read.
Players will be fined and deported: Brazil's Health agency President
Meanwhile, Antonio Barra Torris, President of Brazil's health agency, Anvisa, stated that the four Argentina players will be fined and deported for allegedly not abiding by the country's Coronavirus protocols. The health agency also claimed that the four players had told immigration officers that they hadn't in the last 14 days been to the United Kingdom or anywhere else that Brazil has put on its own red list due to the threats of COVID-19. People arriving from these countries have to face a mandatory 14-day quarantine.