A World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was suspended amid chaotic scenes after local health officials walked onto the pitch on Sunday in a bid to remove three players who didn’t comply with coronavirus restrictions.
The match featuring Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar was stopped in the 7th minute because of the extraordinary interruption. The referee eventually suspended the game with 0-0 after players, coaches, football officials, and local authorities argued for several minutes on the field at NeoQuimica Arena.
Brazil’s health agency said three of Argentina’s England-based players should have been in quarantine instead of playing in the match. FIFA will have to determine what happens next with the qualifier.
Antonio Barra Torres, the president of Brazil’s health agency, Anvisa, said four Argentina players would be fined and deported for breaching Brazil’s COVID-19 protocols.
The four had been ordered to quarantine by Brazil’s health agency ahead of the match. Despite that order, three of the four started for Argentina.