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#pounditThursday, October 28, 2021

Brazil-Argentina match stopped to detain players who violated COVID rules

Brazil Argentina covid

A scene that could only take place in 2021 unfolded during Sunday’s World Cup qualifier match between Argentina and Brazil, as several players were detained for violating COVID-19 regulations.

The Associated Press reported prior to the match that four players from the English Premier League were ordered by Brazilian health officials to “return to the country of origin” and quarantine. The players were Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, who play for Aston Villa, and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, who play for Tottenham.

The players apparently ignored the order and started for Argentina on Sunday. When health officials were alerted, the match was halted and the four players were taken off the field.

Anvisa, Brazil’s health agency, said the players told officials they had not recently been to the United Kingdom, which is on Brazil’s list of high-risk nations.

“Anvisa considers this situation to be a serious health risk and therefore has guided local health authorities to impose immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from taking any activity and must be stopped from remaining in Brazilian territory,” the agency said.

Brazilian rules require visitors who have been in the United Kingdom within 14 days of entering Brazil to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving. Anvisa said the players gave “false” information.

Arengtina coach Lionel Scaloni said his team was not notified that certain players were instructed to quarantine.

Argentina star Lionel Messi called the situation “an embarrassment.”

The match was suspended, and it does not appear it will resume.

The Premier League has discouraged player from taking part in international matches, as they will need to quarantine for 10 days upon returning.

Brazil led the South American qualifying group for Qatar 2022 heading into Sunday. They were six points ahead of second-place Argentina. The top four qualify automatically for the World Cup.


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