World soccer’s governing body Fifa has opened disciplinary proceedings into Sunday’s Brazil v Argentina World Cup qualifier which was abandoned after five minutes amid farcical scenes.
Brazilian health authorities invaded the pitch to stop the game after accusing four of Argentina’s English Premier League players of violating the country’s Covid-19 quarantine rules.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Tottenham Hotspur duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso were on the Neo Quimica Arena field as part of Argentina’s team when officials from Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa halted the match.
“Following the analysis of the official match reports related to the Fifa World Cup qualifier match between Brazil and Argentina, Fifa can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened involving both member associations,” Fifa said on Tuesday.
“The two teams were asked to provide further information on the facts that led to the suspension of the match, which will be gathered and then thoroughly reviewed by Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee,” it added.
Anvisa said Brazilian rules make clear that travellers who have been in the UK, South Africa or India during the previous 14 days are forbidden from entering the country unless they are Brazilian citizens or have permanent residency.
It said Argentine players had made false statements about their previous whereabouts on immigration forms.
Brazil’s Federal Police said on Monday they had opened a formal inquiry into the actions of the Argentine players who, a spokesperson said, were deported.
Argentina’s Aston Villa midfielder Emiliano Buendia had also travelled from the UK and was in the stands.