The World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina in September that was suspended just minutes after kickoff when health officials ran on to the pitch must be replayed, football’s governing body FIFA said on Monday.
The match at NeoQuimica Arena in Sao Paulo was halted after five minutes when Brazilian health officials invaded the pitch to stop Argentina’s England-based players from playing, saying they had breached the country’s COVID-19 quarantine rules.
The officials said the Argentines had breached rules stating travelers who had been in the UK, South Africa, or India during the previous two weeks were forbidden from entering Brazil unless they were citizens or had permanent residency.
The players had misled border officials by declaring they had not been in a red list country during the 14 days before the game, the Brazilian officials said.
Argentine officials said they believed the same protocols used in the Copa America in Brazil in June last year were in place for the World Cup qualifiers to allow teams to travel across the continent. The South American Football Confederation confirmed that interpretation.
FIFA, though, said the two nations’ inability to complete the match demanded disciplinary measures.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has concluded that the abandonment of the match stemmed from several deficiencies of the parties involved,” FIFA said in a statement.
The match “should be replayed on a date and at a location to be decided by FIFA,” it said.
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Source: The Khaama Press News Agency