Argentine players are accused of violating quarantine

Anvisa Headquarters in Brasília REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Anvisa Headquarters in Brasília REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Photo: Reuters

Brazilian health officials have accused four Argentine soccer players of violating quarantine rules on Saturday 4, and have launched an investigation that could lead to them being excluded from the match between Brazil and Argentina in this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Argentine national team flew to Brazil on Friday, 3, a day after defeating Venezuela 3-1 in the qualifiers in Caracas.

Among those called up for Sunday’s game at the Corinthians arena are four players from England, Emiliano Buendía and Emiliano Martínez, from Aston Villa, and the duo Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, from Tottenham Hotspur.

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) said that, with few exemptions, foreigners were banned from entering Brazil from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, South Africa or India.

Those who receive exemptions must notify authorities upon arrival and spend 14 days in quarantine.

“The players in question, who arrived in Brazil on a flight from Caracas (Venezuela) to Guarulhos, declared that they did not spend time in any of the four countries with restrictions in the last 14 days,” said Anvisa in a statement.

In a separate statement, the Health Department of the State of São Paulo said that “an epidemiological and sanitary investigation has begun”.

Brazil leads the South American qualifiers for the Cup in Qatar with a 6-point advantage over second-placed Argentina. The top four automatically qualify for the World Cup.