FIFA 'regrets' chaos at abandoned Brazil v Argentina match
LAUSANNE, Sept 6, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - FIFA said Monday it regretted the
chaotic scenes that preceded the suspension of the World Cup qualifier
between Brazil and Argentina and a decision on possible disciplinary action
would be taken "in due course".
The match at Sao Paulo's Neo Quimica Arena on Sunday was halted when
Brazilian health officials ran onto the pitch seven minutes after kick-off,
triggering a melee involving team officials and players from both sides.
The officials intervened 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.
"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," football's world 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," FIFA added.
Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) said the Argentinian
Premier League players -- Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham,
and Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia -- had given "false
information" when they entered Brazil.
Romero, Lo Celso and Martinez were all in Argentina's starting line-up for
Sunday's game, prompting the intervention of ANVISA officials.
In scenes of confusion on the pitch, Argentina captain Lionel Messi and his
teammates left the field while Brazil's squad began a practice game.
After the game was abandoned, Messi criticised the intervention of the
"We've been here for three days, why are you doing this just now?" he said
on Argentina's TyC network.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni told reporters that "at no time were we told
that they could not play the game".
The Argentina team arrived back in Buenos Aires early Monday.