Anvisa interrupted the match between Brazil and Argentina this Sunday afternoon (5). The purpose of the action was to prevent the four Argentine players who came from England to compete in the confrontation. The game was suspended after an hour of stoppage.
At the highest level of Conmebol, the version is that there was an agreement with the Brazilian authorities for players to participate in the match even without having followed the quarantine. According to UOL, the speech coming from the South American organization is that yesterday the minister of Health gave the assurances that the game would be played.
Sought by the report, the Ministry of Health avoided answering if, in fact, it made any agreement with Conmebol. He limited himself to saying, in a note, only that he “supports and recognizes the recommendations of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), the health authority responsible for the country’s health surveillance actions.”
“Serious health risk”
In the early afternoon, Anvisa even issued a statement in which it pointed out “serious health risk, and therefore directed the local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of players, who are prevented from participating in any activity and must be prevented from stay in Brazilian territory”.
According to Anvisa, the four players declared not to have played in any of the four countries with restrictions in the last 14 days – among them England. The travelers arrived in Brazil by flight from Caracas/Venezuela to Guarulhos. However, unofficial news reached the Agency reporting alleged false statements made by such travelers.
According to Brazilian rules, visitors who were in the UK 14 days before entering the country must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.
The CBF interceded with the Federal Government in support of Conmebol and the AFA and was guaranteed an agreement with the authorities, so much so that the Argentines appointed three of the four who came from England less than 14 days ago as holders.
During the Globo broadcast, the CEO of Anvisa, Antônio Barra Torres, said that there was a series of non-compliances by the Argentines. “We reached this point because everything that Anvisa guided before and was not fulfilled. These players were instructed to be isolated to be deported. The isolation could even be in the hotel. But this is not fulfilled. They enter the field yet. There is a string of non-compliances,” he said.
The same ordinance had already been offered by the government to the CBF for athletes who were called up and belong to English teams. Names like Roberto Firmino, Richardson and Gabriel Jesus, for example, would not need to quarantine when disembarking in Brazil. Article 3 of the document mentions that a native or naturalized Brazilian does not need to submit to the restrictions referred to in the ordinance.
Before the kickoff, still at the stadium, the Health Secretary of the State of São Paulo, Jean Gorinchteyn, insisted on the ban on the participation of the four players in the match.
“No one is on the sidelines of this, neither am I. It is essential that all sanitary measures are followed to ensure safety for everyone — other players, employees and the public,” he says. An infectious disease doctor, he also told UOL Esporte that he interceded so that players who arrived from England and did not comply with quarantine were left out of the match. “The players could not play, as determined by Anvisa and the Ministry of Health.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) deeply regrets the events that ended up causing the suspension of the match between Brazil and Argentina, valid for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
CBF defends the implementation of the most rigorous health protocols and complies with them in their entirety. However, he emphasizes that he was absolutely surprised by the moment when the action of the National Health Surveillance Agency took place, with the match having already started, since Anvisa could have exercised its activity in a much more appropriate manner in the various moments and days prior to the match.
The CBF also emphasizes that at no time, through the interim President, Ednaldo Rodrigues, or its directors, interfered in any point related to the sanitary protocol established by the Brazilian authorities for the entry of people into the country. The role of the CBF was always in an attempt to promote understanding between the entities involved so that the sanitary protocols could be satisfactorily fulfilled and the game played.
CBF reiterates its disappointment with the events and awaits the decision of CONMEBOL and FIFA regarding the match.
*With information from Danilo Lavieri