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Brazil vs Argentina suspended: World Cup qualifiers interrupted by health authorities

The World Cup qualifiers don’t do any better than Brazil versus Argentina. That is, when they can actually play.

The two South American heavyweights – currently No.1 and No.2 in the qualifying table – were due to meet for the first time during Sunday’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in Sao Paulo, but Brazilian health authority Anvisa officials interrupted the game in the 10th minute to demand the expulsion of the four Argentinian players who came from the United Kingdom for violating the country’s health rules.

The Argentine Football Federation’s official Twitter account announced the suspension of the match, followed by CONMEBOL, the sport’s governing body in South America. “The meeting between Brazil and Argentina has been suspended,” reads the Argentinian tweet. “Due to a decision of the match referee, the FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina has been suspended.”

Reports said the four players in question – Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso – were expected to complete a 14-day quarantine after traveling from the UK under Brazilian regulations. It is unclear why the issue was not resolved before the teams entered the field.

Other reports say the players lied about their travel from the UK. The players traveled with Argentina to Venezuela on Thursday and Martinez and Lo Celso starred in a 3-1 victory over Venezuela. The team traveled from Venezuela to Brazil and have been in the country for three days.

The game was highly anticipated as a rematch for the Copa America final which took place on July 10. Argentina won the game 1-0 at Brazil’s Maracana Stadium as Messi won his first-ever major title with Argentina’s senior national team. Sunday’s Brazil-Argentina game was originally scheduled to be played in March 2021, but it has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. South American officials added another matchday in September to insert one of the rescheduled matchdays.

The two teams will play matches on Thursday: Argentina hosts Bolivia and Brazil hosts Peru. Brazil have a perfect record of 7-0-0 (21 points), while Argentina are currently in second place, six points behind (4-0-3, 15 points).

Sporting News follows developments as they occur and will provide updates and commentary until there is an official word on what will happen next.

Brazil vs Argentina suspended

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Brazil vs Argentina updates and highlights

(Every hour ET)

3:58 p.m .: And now, the official word from the South American governing body CONMEBOL. The statement says it’s a decision of the referee. It is an interesting choice of language because there could be repercussions for a government authority invading the field and interrupting an official match.

3:52 p.m .: The Brazilian players have still not left the field. Meanwhile, the Argentinian bus is apparently warming up:

3:34 p.m .: According to the official account of the Argentine national team, the match was suspended:

3:32 p.m .: Apart from the obvious, the bigger question at this point is why the players were allowed to enter the pitch to begin with. The officials had ample time to resolve the situation:

3:31 p.m .: Of course, this bib that Messi wears is a photo bib:

3:24 p.m .: This journalist claims that the Argentinian ambassadors in Brazil are intervening to help resolve the situation:

3:23 p.m .: The cameras capture Messi talking to Dani Alves and Messi is already in a bib. He took off his jersey. And now he’s on the pitch talking to Neymar and Brazilian manager Tite:

3:21 p.m .: The Brazilian players have still not left the field. Health officials are not seen on the ground and it appears the conversation has progressed in the lockers.

3:19 p.m .: Brazilian rules require travelers from the UK to be quarantined. Reportedly, all four players lied about their trip from the UK (they traveled from the UK to Venezuela, where Argentina played on Thursday).

3.18 p.m .: How is this going to be resolved? Argentine media claim the team will only play if all players are allowed to play.

3.15 p.m .: The players in question are Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa), Cristian Romero (Tottenham) and Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham). Three of the four players are in today’s starting lineup.

10th minute: And now Argentina is leaving the field. Scenes of madness.

8th minute: Many discussions are taking place on the sidelines and Lionel Messi is now involved.

6th minute: And the cameras are looking backstage where Brazilian officials appear to be intervening. Health officials were reported to be seeking to force the four England-based Argentina players out of the game after they failed to comply with the mandatory 14-day quarantine rules for travelers from the UK . Word was that the problem was resolved, but apparently not.

4th minute: And now it’s Argentina’s Cristian Romero with a hard tackle on Eder Militao who sends the player flying. And Neymar is not happy. Sparks are already flying.

1st minute: It’s gone and we already have a player to whom the referee speaks from the first minute!

2:58 p.m .: The hour of the hymns:

2:57 p.m .: This rivalry is way too friendly when it comes to the two biggest stars:

2:57 p.m .: It’s been eight games in a row that Brazil haven’t allowed a home goal in qualifying:

14:43: Messi is already feeling it during the warm-ups:

How to watch: Brazil vs. Argentina

  • Dated: Sunday September 5th
  • Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Flux: fuboTV

The match will be available exclusively on fuboTV.

Qualification will take place at the Arena Corinthians, also known as the Neo Química Arena, in Sao Paulo. After the match’s initial go-ahead for 12,000 fans (25% capacity), the short deadline to sell tickets and verify testing forced organizers to cancel ticket sales and limit attendance to just 1,500 guests.

PLUS: CONMEBOL Calendar and Ranking

Brazil vs. Argentina: starting eleven

Brazil central defender Marquinhos will be absent due to suspension after receiving his second yellow card against Chile. His replacement at center-back will be Benfica’s Lucas verissimo , which will debut.

Titus also opts for Everton Ribeiro instead of Vinicius Jr. , whose speed could be a solid offensive option off the bench. Gerson , who replaced Bruno Guimarães against Chile, starts alongside Casemiro in the central midfield.

Brazil’s starting eleven (4-2-3-1, left to right): 12-Weverton-GK – 6-Alex Sandro, 22-Lucas Verissimo, 3-Eder Militao, 2-Danilo – 18-Gerson, 5-Casemiro – 17-Lucas Paqueta, 10-Neymar, 11-Everton Ribeiro – 9-Gabriel Barbosa

Brazilian submarines (12): 23-Everson-GK, 1-Santos-GK, 13-Dani Alves, 16-Guilherme Arana, 14-Miranda, 4-Leo Ortiz, 15-Edenilson, 8-Bruno Guimaraes, 21-Artur, 19-Matheus Cunha, 20 -Hulk, 7-Vinícius Jr

Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni gets Cristian “Cuti” Romero and Leandro Paredes back from suspension, and they are both inserted into the starting lineup. It also gives Gonzalo Montiel start again right away Nahuel Molina .

Argentina’s starting eleven (4-3-3, left to right): 23-Emiliano Martinez – 8-Marcos Acuna, 13-Cristian Romero, 19-Nicolas Otamendi, 4-Gonzalo Montiel – 7-Rodrigo De Paul, 5-Leandro Paredes, 20-Giovani Lo Celso – 10-Lionel Messi, 22-Lautaro Martínez, 11-Angel Di Maria

Argentina substitutes (12): 12-Juan Musso-GK, 1-Geronimo Rulli-GK, 2-Juan Foyth, 3-Nicolas Tagliafico, 6-German Pezzella, 18-Guido Rodriguez, 14-Exequiel Palacios, 21-Paulo Dybala, 9-Angel Correa, 16 -Joaquin Correa, 15-Nicolas Gonzalez, 17-Alejandro “Papu” Gomez

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