2022 World Cup qualifiers: what we know about the interruption of the Brazil-Argentina match

The qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup between Brazil and Argentina was suspended Sunday, September 5, in Sao Paulo, after the intervention of the Brazilian health agency Anvisa, for violation of anti-covid protocols on the part of of four Argentinian players playing in England.

The Argentines returned to the locker room after this interruption in the fifth minute of play of this shock of the South American qualifications, after the entry on the field of an agent of Anvisa, in the general confusion. After several tens of minutes of uncertainty, the referee of the meeting made the decision to permanently suspend the meeting.

What happened before the meeting?

A few hours before the kickoff of Brazil-Argentina, Anvisa announced in a statement that it had recommended to the local authorities of the State of Sao Paulo that four footballers of the Argentine selection from the United Kingdom be “immediately placed in quarantine” for providing “fake news” in the entry form to Brazil.

“Anvisa considers that this situation represents a serious health risk and recommends that the local health authorities (of Sao Paulo) order the immediate quarantine of the players, who are banned from taking part in any activity and from remaining on Brazilian territory”, the agency said in a statement.

A ministerial order dated June 23 prohibits entry into Brazilian territory to any foreign person from the United Kingdom, India or South Africa, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants.

Who are the players involved and what did they do?

According to Anvisa agency, the four Argentine players in violation are Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa), Lo Celso, Romero (Tottenham Hotspur) and Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa). The four Premier League boarders have reportedly provided “fake news” in the entry form to Brazil, failing to indicate that they had stayed in the United Kingdom during the last fourteen days prior to their arrival.

What happened during the meeting?

Despite this decision, Lo Celso, Martinez and Romero were lined up in the starting 11 of the Albiceleste and started the game. After five minutes and in total confusion, members of the health agency returned to the field to request the release of the players affected by the entry ban. The rest of the Argentine delegation, refusing to play without their teammates, then returned to the locker room. After many minutes of hesitation, the meeting was finally suspended permanently.

On a video we can hear a delegate from the Brazilian health agency say to the Argentina selection: “It was not the right way, but the health security of the country comes first” what Lionel Messi replied “We’ve been here for 3 days, why haven’t you come to pick up the players before?” An incredible situation that took all the players on the grounds of the Arena Corinthians by surprise.

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