Health Officials Halt Brazil-Argentina Match
Brazilian health officials accused a number of Premier League players of breaking the country's COVID-19 quarantine laws, which led to the suspension of a World Cup qualifier match between Argentina and Brazil.
Why was the game stopped?
The law in Brazil prevents anyone from entering the country if they have been abroad for more than 14 days including those who've been in the UK, South Africa, or India within that timeframe unless they are Brazilian citizens or have permanent residency. It was declared that Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso and Aston Villa’s Emiliano Buendia violated the mentioned Brazilian rules, thus forcing authorities to stop the game.
The rules were enacted to combat the spread of COVID-19, which has resulted in the death of at least 583,000 Brazilians.
While the visitors immediately exited the field, the two coaches, together with Argentina captain Lionel Messi and the Brazilian players, convened to discuss the halt.
"What was the point of starting the game and then stopping it after five minutes?" Messi remarked in a televised interview. "We've been here at the stadium for an hour, they could have told us."
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) stated that a report will be submitted by the referee and match official to FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will decide what action to take.
The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) stated that the four Argentines had been warned many times that they were breaking Brazilian health rules.
According to the Agency, the four were instructed to isolate on Saturday, and when the orders were disobeyed, Anvisa contacted Brazilian federal police to execute the isolation order on Sunday morning.
Anvisa claimed that it had received indications that the four Argentine players had given "false information" on their pre-flight medical statements.
Thus, the Agency perceives the situation to be a major risk and has requested that local health authorities establish an immediate quarantine of the players, who are prohibited from participating in any activity and should not be allowed to remain on Brazilian soil.