The anger and frustration of Sunday night’s aborted Brazil vs Argentina World Cup qualifier continued yesterday, with various parties furious at the extraordinary events in Sao Paulo.
The match was called off after just five minutes of play when federal police and officials from Brazil’s health agency, Anvisa stepped onto the field. They did so because Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham, and Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia all faced deportation having allegedly broken Brazil’s rules on entering the country by failing to report that they had been in the UK during the previous 14 days. Romero, Lo Celso and Martinez all started the game, while Buendia was in the stands.
In Brazil’s eyes, stopping the game was a proportionate response given that prior to kick off Anvisa had issued a statement asking local health organisations to place the players under immediate quarantine and “prevent them from remaining in Brazilian territory”. Many in the country continue to feel that Argentina acted with a lack of respect by breaching their COVID rules — especially given that the disease has killed more than 580,000 Brazilians. And there is a sense that they obstructed Brazilian authorities — Anvisa claim that at the hotel and dressing room they weren’t able to speak to and take measures against the players accused of breaching the rules.
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