The iconic match between Argentina and Brazil was suspended due to the breaching of Covid-19 rules by Argentina players.
Qualifier Matches and Suspension
The much-awaited FIFA World Cup 2022 commenced its qualifier matches on 6 June 2019. Mongolia and Brunei played the first match and inaugurated the qualifier games.
The qualifying matches will determine the 31 of the 32 countries that will play in the FIFA World Cup 2022. Qatar received an automatic spot owing to the privilege of hosting the games.
The qualifying matches are scheduled to end in June 2022 with the inter-confederation play-offs.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic postponed numerous matches. However, with the situation getting better day by day, some of the games have been resumed.
Although the group-wise matches were played in a peaceful manner, the game between Argentina and Brazil, which took place on Sunday, i.e. 5/09/2021, was unfortunately suspended.
Reason Behind the Suspension
The match took place in Sao Paulo’s New Quimica Arena. Brazilian health officials interrupted and demanded a halt to the game around five minutes after the official kick-off.
They claimed that four of the Argentinian players violated the country’s Covid-19 quarantine rules. The accused players include Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, and Tottenham players Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso.
The Brazilian quarantine rules state that the people who have travelled from the UK, India or South Africa during the preceding fourteen days are prohibited from entering the country unless they are Brazilian citizens or have permanent citizenship.
The Brazil Federal Police accused the four players of failing to disclose that they were based in Britain.
As soon as the officials entered the field, the Argentine squad left the field, leaving their captain Lionel Messi and the Brazilian players to enquire with the officials regarding the abrupt interruption.
The Brazil National Health Surveillance Agency, also known as ANVISA, claimed that they had issued prior warnings that the four players were defying the Brazilian Covid regulations.
The officials informed both the Argentina and Brazil officials about this matter and although they had the power to deport them, the officials requested the players to quarantine themselves.
The Sao Paulo state document also reported that they also advised Argentina to request last minute authorization from the Brazilian government.
Argentina’s Response and the Status of the Game
Lionel Messi retorted that the officials could have prevented them prior to the game as they had been in the stadium for more than an hour and in the country for the past three days.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni added that “at no time were we told that they could not play the game”. The team arrived in Buenos Aires early Monday morning.
On Monday, FIFA stated that it regretted the chaos that followed the suspension of the match and promised that the organisation would take necessary disciplinary action in “due course” time.
The game will not be resumed any time this week and if the Argentina team is found guilty Brazil will likely be awarded the victory by default.