The World Cup Qualifier between Brazil and Argentina has been suspended after medical officials entered the pitch in order to detain four Argentina players accused of lying in order to enter the country.
Four Argentine players have been accused of falsifying information on immigration forms and breaching Brazil's COVID-19 restrictions.
Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia of Aston Villa, as well as Tottenham Hotspurs Giovanni Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, were ordered to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Brazil.
Under Brazilian rules, any visitor that has spent time in Britain over the past 14 days must quarantine upon entry to the country.
The aforementioned quartet travelled to the stadium with the Argentine team bus and Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero all started the game.
Only six minutes had been played before the Brazilian authorities entered the pitch and stopped the game.
Video of World Cup qualifier being stopped in Brazil over English-based Argentina players’ quarantine status with health officials going on the pitch pic.twitter.com/vKFvcdIycG
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) September 5, 2021
All but one of the Argentine players exited the field and headed for the dressing room. Captain Lionel Messi was seen discussing the stoppage with several of the Brazilian players on the side of the pitch before he too left.
Shortly thereafter reports emerged that suggested the Argentine party had left the stadium. The Brazilian players, who had remained on the pitch throughout, engaged in a light warmup before additional goalposts were rolled onto the pitch.
Brazil then began an in-house game between themselves.
Ahead of the tie, the Brazilian authorities had ordered the four players to self-isolate.
Por decisión del árbitro del partido, el encuentro organizado por FIFA entre Brasil y Argentina por las Eliminatorias para la Copa del Mundo queda suspendido.
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) September 5, 2021
There is uncertainty as to what will happen next. CONMEBOL, the governing body for South American football confirmed that the game had been suspended.
They also indicated that the referee and match officials would submit an official report to FIFA's disciplinary committee to determine the next steps.
If it is proven that Argentina and the players did not follow the Brazilian government guidelines, then a win would be awarded to Brazil by FIFA.
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