Brazil hosted Argentina on 5th September for their World Cup qualifying match. The match kicked off on time but suddenly after just 4 minutes on the clock, the match was halted by the officials.
The Brazilian national health surveillance agency (ANVISA) requested the deportation of four Argentine players, Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Emiliano Buendia from the country as they were from the Premier League and England is one of the red-list countries.
The Brazilian authorities stressed through a statement that the footballers didn’t comply “with the country’s sanitary rules and, supposedly, declared false information in an official form”.
However, Argentina informed that CONMEBOL gave authorization to those four Argentine players to travel to Brazil as part of the national team’s bubble, which means they are exempted from all quarantine restrictions of Brazil. But Brazilian authorities argued that national laws are above the CONMEBOL regulations.
As three of the four players were on the pitch as part of Argentina’s starting XI, the officials intervened to halt the match and it was finally suspended.
Messi stated when talking in a group that included officials: “We’ve been here for three days,”
“Were they waiting for the match to start? Why not warn about this beforehand or at the hotel?
“They could have explained this and it would be sorted. Now, the world is watching.”
It seems unfair to stop a match after it has started. If the authorities had some problems with the quarantine rules, they should have taken swift action before.
Not, it will be up to FIFA to announce the next step in this matter.