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2022 WCQ: Brazil vs Argentina suspended after health authorities storm pitch moments after kick off

Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifier was suspended just minutes after kick-off on Sunday after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they believe broke quarantine rules.

The visitors walked off the pitch at the Corinthians arena after the officials came out to stop the game.

The dramatic intervention came hours after Brazil’s health authorities had said four England-based players for Argentina had to quarantine.

Although it did not name the four, the players with English Premier League clubs are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur.

Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero all started the game in São Paulo.

Around one hour after the game was suspended and while Brazilian players organised an impromptu training session on the pitch, South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL said in a statement: “By decision of the match referee, the match organized by Fifa between Brazil and Argentina for the World Cup Qualifiers is suspended.

“The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to be followed. These procedures strictly adhere to current regulations.”

Under Brazilian rules, visitors who have been in the UK for the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Brazil’s health authority, Anvisa, said in a statement before the game: “Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk and so has asked local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from participating in any activity and should be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil.”

Source: BBC Sports

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