Sao Paulo: The World Cup qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina got suspended shortly after kick-off on Sunday after Brazilian health officials interrupted the game, Agence France-Presse reported. The health officials were seen running into the stadium, starting a commotion among officials and players.
The incident occurred hours after Brazilian health authorities announced that four England based Argentina's players should be immediately quarantined as they violated Covid-19 protocols.
Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency(ANVISA) had announced that Premier League players Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa) and Cristian Romero (Tottenham) provided "false information", not disclosing that they had spent time in the United Kingdom within 14 days of their arrival in Brazil. Romero, Lo Celso and Martinez were in the Argentinian starting lineup.
ANVISA director Antonio Barra Torres told the media that they were forced to intervene after everything the agency directed went unfulfilled. He said the four players were asked to be in quarantine, which they did not follow and entered the field for the match. He added that the agency had warned Argentina's delegation on Saturday that the players must be quarantined.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi hit Brazil, saying they were in the country for three days and why they intervened after the match started. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said that they were informed that the four players were could not play. Argentina Football Association said that they followed FIFA protocols, and it was not possible to lie.
CONMEBOL, the South American football governing body, announced that the match had been suspended, but whether it was cancelled or will be replayed wasn't mentioned. The referee and match commissioner will submit a report to FIFA Disciplinary Committee. The committee will determine the steps to follow, it added.
The Brazilian government had prohibited the entry of foreigners from the United Kingdom, India and South Africa because of the spreading variants of coronavirus.