Suspension of game between Brazil and Argentina was crazy, says FIFA president

The FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, stated on Monday (6) that the events that resulted in the suspension of the game between Brazil and Argentina, for the World Cup qualifiers, were “madness”.

“We saw what happened with the match between Brazil and Argentina, two of the most glorious teams in South America,” Infantino said in a video address at the European Club Association general assembly.

“Some agents, police and security guards took to the field after a few minutes of play to take out some players – it’s crazy, but we need to deal with these challenges, these issues that come with the Covid crisis”, he added, noting that the situation is a reminder of the difficulties faced during the pandemic.

Brazilian health authorities intervened on Sunday (5) after four Argentine players who play in the Premier League of England violated the quarantine rules against Covid-19 of the country.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez and Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso were on the field at Neo Química Arena, in São Paulo, when authorities from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) entered the field and stopped the game.

Aston Villa midfielder Emiliano Buendia had also traveled from the UK and was on the bench.

Anvisa said that Brazilian rules make it clear that travelers who have been to the UK, South Africa or India in the last 14 days are prevented from entering the country, unless they are Brazilian or have permanent residence.

According to information from the agency, the Argentine players made false statements about their previous whereabouts on immigration forms.

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“We can confirm that an investigation has begun into the possible crime of providing false information,” a spokesman said. “Yesterday, the players were told that they have to leave the country, which is the normal procedure, and statements were taken from them.”

FIFA said it has already received the match reports from the referees. “The information will be analyzed by the competent disciplinary bodies and a decision will be taken at the appropriate time,” said the governing body of world football, in a statement.

The Argentine Football Federation (AFA) said FIFA has given the two federations six days to defend their positions.