Brazil, Argentina to replay suspended World Cup qualifier
The suspended World Cup qualifier between South American rivals Brazil and Argentina will be replayed, world football governing body FIFA has said
The suspended World Cup qualifier between South American rivals Brazil and Argentina will be replayed, world football governing body FIFA has said.
The match in Sao Paulo last September was halted shortly after kick-off when Brazilian health officials walked onto the pitch to object to the participation of four Argentina players for allegedly breaching COVID-19 protocols.
"After a thorough investigation of the various factual elements and in light of the applicable regulations, the FIFA disciplinary committee has decided that the match should be replayed on a date and at a location to be decided by FIFA," it said in a statement on Monday evening.
"In addition, the FIFA disciplinary committee has concluded that the abandonment of the match stemmed from several deficiencies of the parties involved."
Brazilian health agency Anvisa said Premier League players Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Emiliano Buendia failed to comply with entry regulations for travellers from the United Kingdom, Xinhua reports. The entity claimed the players should have been in quarantine because of a rule at the time that applied to foreigners arriving from Britain, South Africa, Northern Ireland and India.
Argentina team officials denied knowingly breaching travel guidelines, arguing that they believed players could travel across South America without restrictions, as they did during the Copa America in June.
FIFA issued a two-match ban to Martinez, Lo Celso, Romero and Buendia for failing to comply with its COVID-19 requirements.
In addition, the Brazilian and Argentine football associations were fined 500,000 Swiss francs (around 540,000 US dollars) each for infractions related to order and safety. Brazil and Argentina have already qualified for the World Cup, to be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.