World Cup Qualifier abandoned over COVID rules breach by Spurs and Villa players

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The World Cup Qualifier between Brazil and Argentina on Sunday night was abandoned after Brazilian health officials entered the pitch in a row over Covid rules.

The officials marched onto the field shortly after kick-off and confronted the Argentina players, who left the field while the two managers – along with Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Brazil’s players – gathered to discuss the stoppage.

The South American football confederation CONMEBOL later confirmed the game – which was 0-0 when it was stopped – had been called off by the referee, who they said would submit a disciplinary report to FIFA.

Antonio Barra Torres, the president of Brazil’s health agency Anvisa, said four Argentina players will be fined and deported for allegedly not following the country’s Covid protocols.

Anvisa had sought the immediate isolation of the four players just hours before the game in Sao Paulo.

Under Brazilian rules, visitors who have been in the UK in the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Although Anvisa did not name the four, the players with Premier League clubs are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham.

Martinez, Lo Celso and Romero were named in Argentina’s starting line-up, while Buendia did not make the squad.

(Sky Sports)

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