Brazil v Argentina World Cup qualifier descends into Covid-19 farce with game abandoned

5 September 2021, 20:35 | Updated: 5 September 2021, 21:25

The game descended into farce with health officials walking on to the pitch
The game descended into farce with health officials walking on to the pitch. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

A World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina descended into farce as health officials and police marched onto the pitch before trying to detain Premier League players due to an apparent breach of Covid-19 rules.

Health officials and Brazilian police stopped play and took steps to detain Premier League players Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa, and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur.

They all arrived from England and are suspected to have breached Brazil's quarantine rules in order to take part.

Argentina's team walked off the pitch in protest and returned to the dressing room.

Brazil's health regulator Anvisa had sought the immediate isolation of the four Argentina players hours before the game.

Officials say the players should have quarantined on arrival because they had spent time in the UK over the previous 14 days.

The game was stopped after just 10 minutes and police and health officials are understood to be trying to detain the four players in question.

A Brazilian broadcaster has reported that a coach was being sent to the stadium to pick up the Argentina squad and the game was later abandoned.