The 2022 CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina has halted after officials entered the pitch in Sao Paulo and stopped the game after just a few minutes.
Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa sought the immediate isolation of four Argentina footballers who were slated to play on Sunday, after three players of the reported sort after players started for the visitors, the game was stopped after just five minutes.
Anvisa had ordered four players to quarantined on arrival because they had spent time in the United Kingdom over the previous 14 days and although it did not name the players, it is understood that Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur from English Premier League clubs were the players identified.
Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero were all named in the starting lineup for Argentina, while Buendia was not in the match day squad.
Shortly after kick-off, Brazil’s health and safety officials entered the field and ordered the match to be stopped.
The Argentina players, including Lionel Messi, walked off the field and went back to their locker room, while the Brazilian players, including Neymar, remained on the pitch talking to officials.
“Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk and so has asked local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from participating in any activity and should be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil,” Anvisa said in a statement before the game.
The authorities are now coming under serious heat for allowing the situation to get to the stage, with many stating that the four players should have never been allowed to start the game in the first place.
Brazil are without several of its UK based players, including Fred from Manchester United and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus who were not allowed to travel.