The Federal Police opened an inquiry to investigate a crime of ideological falsehood attributed to members of the Argentine delegation that was in Brazil for the World Cup qualifiers.
According to Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), upon entering the country for the match against the Brazilian team, players Emiliano Martínez, Emiliano Buendia, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero gave false information and concealed that they were in the United Kingdom in the last 14 days.
The duel between Brazil and Argentina, at Neo Química Arena, was interrupted this Sunday (5) with just 6 minutes when ANVISA agents invaded the pitch. Hours later, with the Argentines still in the stadium locker room, Conmebol announced the suspension of the game.
At night, after being heard by the PF at Guarulhos airport, the players were told to leave the country — which is, according to police authorities, standard procedure. There was no deportation. They have already landed in Argentina.
The determination will be in charge of the corporation unit that works at the airport, where they entered the country. The crime of fraudulent misrepresentation is subject to a penalty of up to five years in prison plus a fine.
In addition to the records at the time of their entry into Brazil, investigators will have access to documents from Anvisa and the departure.
The four athletes are active in Premier League clubs and have been in the UK in recent days. They could only have entered Brazil after 14 days outside the restricted locations. Travelers who have recently passed through this and other locations (South Africa and India) must undergo the quarantine period, as per the rule adopted by the Jair Bolsonaro government to prevent the dissemination of Covid-19 variants.
Hours before the match, Anvisa stated that the athletes violated the quarantine rules against Covid-19 and called the PF so that the Argentines were immediately isolated.
“In view of the confirmation that the information provided by the travelers was false, Anvisa clarifies that it has already communicated the fact to the Federal Police, so that measures within the scope of the police authority are taken immediately”, said Anvisa in a statement.
In a statement published on the official website of the AFA (Argentine Football Association), the president of the organization, Claudio Tapia, said that the suspension of the match against Brazil in the World Cup qualifiers is “unfortunate for football, a very bad image” .
According to Tapia, it cannot be said that there were lies on the part of the Argentine delegation, because “there is a health legislation according to which all South American tournaments are played”.
“The health authorities of each country have approved a protocol that we have fully complied with,” said the president of the AFA.
The association stated that the national team had been in Brazilian territory since 8 am on Friday (3) “complying with all current health protocols regulated by Conmebol [Confederação Sul-Americana de Futebol]”.