Brazil and Argentina face off tomorrow for the first time in two years. The last time the two met was on September 5, 2021 at the New Quimica Arena, when agents from Anvisa (the National Health Surveillance Agency) interrupted the match after just six minutes to remove four Argentine players who did not respect the entry protocol in Brazil due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Emiliano Buendia were the athletes who could not be on the field. At the time, due to the coronavirus, anyone coming from England, where the four were playing for their clubs, needed to quarantine for 14 days. The problem occurred because the athletes were not informed of their presence in English territory and did not respect the two-week isolation, which gave Anfisa the impression that they were trying to circumvent the protocol.
The match started with three of the four players in the starting lineup, and was quickly stopped when Anvisa authorities and the Federal Police entered the New Quimica Arena park to notify the Argentines. With this, the Argentine players headed to the locker room.
“There are four players. Upon their arrival in the national territory, they present the traveler’s health declaration. This document did not say that they had passed through one of the three banned countries, specifically to contain the epidemic. But it was later found that they had passed through the United Kingdom. It was found between tonight past and today. We have reached this point because everything that Anfisa advised us from the beginning has not been implemented. They were instructed to remain isolated while awaiting deportation. But they have not been fulfilled. “They go to the stadium, they enter “The stadium, and there are a series of cases of non-compliance.”
After the match that did not happen, FIFA analyzed the case, canceled the duel and sanctioned the CBF and AFA (Argentine Football Association). In the case of Brazil, the fine amounted to R$3.1 million, while the Argentines paid R$1.4 million. In addition, the four players were suspended for two matches.
Even without the match points, the Brazilian team finished at the top of the qualifiers with 45 points in 17 matches, six points behind Argentina. The two teams will face each other on Tuesday (21), at 9:30 pm, at the Maracanã Stadium, in the sixth round of the qualifiers.
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