In the decision ruling both the Brazilian Football Confederation (Confederação Brasileira de Futebol) and the Argentine Football Association to pay fines and reschedule the qualifying match, pending on September 5, 2021, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee said that the two federations, “by their respective conduct, Which ended up causing the match to be abandoned, tarnished the reputation of FIFA and football.”
The entire document, dated February 9, deals with what happened, when officials from Anvisa (the national health monitoring agency) entered the Neo Química Arena, in São Paulo, to notify four players from Argentina that they had not complied with health protocols for an epidemic entering Brazil like scenes of “chaos”. and sadness.”
The incident was broadcast to millions of viewers on television, distorting the competitions. [da Fifa] and football. The three committee members who made the decision wrote – Anin Yeboah (Ghana), Thomas Holler (Austria) and Yasir Al-Mishal (Saudi Arabia).
In addition to rescheduling the match, which should take place on September 22 and still has no specific location, the committee recognized that the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) had not done its part in organizing the match, as a home team, safely and fined the Confederation 500,000 Swiss francs (2.5 million Brazilian reais). . According to the committee, the AFC failed to comply with sanitation protocols and was fined 200,000 Swiss francs (one million Brazilian reals). Both received another fine of 50,000 Swiss francs (250,000 Brazilian reais) each for leaving the game. Argentine players Lo Celso, Buendia, Martinez and Romero were suspended in two matches.
The Brazilian Football Confederation and the Asian Football Confederation appealed, and the FIFA Appeal Committee reduced, in May, the value of the largest fines to 250,000 Swiss francs (1.25 million Brazilian reais) for the Brazilians and 100,000 Swiss francs (500,000 Brazilian reais) for the Argentines. Game rescheduled and minor fines kept. Both entities can appeal to the third and final instance, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which, like FIFA, is located in Switzerland.
Lo Celso, Buendia, Martinez and Romero played in England, and due to the health rules to combat Covid-19 in Brazil, at that time, they needed to comply with the quarantine when disembarking, because they were in London 14 days before arrival. in the country. In the documents they submitted at immigration, the athletes did not include this information, which the Brazilian authorities understood as an attempt to circumvent the rules. The AFA says there was a minor error, an involuntary omission of this information.
After two days of negotiations and an attempt by the government to give the athletes an exemption from remaining in the country, they went to the Neo Química Arena and Anvisa officials entered the field, with five minutes of play going, to notify them that they would need to leave the country.
In the report of the match delegate, which the committee used to help make the decision, it is stated that he decided to take the delegates off the field to avoid a quarrel and after half an hour and without understanding. With the authorities, the match is suspended permanently.
The document also provides defensive arguments for each of the confederations:
Advising the AFC and CONMEBOL within the appropriate time frames on health rules for entering Brazil;
– there was no way to prevent the Anvisa authorities from entering the field, since they are independent inspection bodies;
– Blaming the AFC for not following the health agency’s guidelines and not agreeing to continue the match;
– that followed the health bubble rules set by FIFA and Conmebol, applicable in international tournaments. that the presence in the delegation of the aforementioned players in the United Kingdom 14 days before entering Brazil was public;
– that he did not know that he would need to request the exemption for these players and that he did so after a meeting, with a guarantee from the Brazilian government that it would be granted and that they were not notified in time that it was a refusal. That it was only 15:40, 20 minutes before the match, an email was sent about it;
– that there was an involuntary omission, a simple error, in filling in the athletes’ documents;
– that there was an agreement with Anvisa that only players will be notified in the first half (same as the game delegate version).
In the decision, the committee decided to reschedule the match, even with the qualifiers already over and with Brazil and Argentina already classified for the Qatar World Cup, because according to the disciplinary law, there are only two types of punishment for abandoning the field of play. : Give a WO (Win 3-0) to a team or reschedule the match.
As in the committee’s understanding, there was no primary culprit for what happened, i.e. CBF and AFA shared responsibilities, and rescheduling was the only possible decision.
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