February 14, 2022

Abandoned Brazil v Argentina World Cup Qualifier To Be Replayed

Back in September 2021, Brazil and Argentina's highly anticipated FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier clash was bizarrely suspended minutes after kick-off. The game was interrupted by Brazil's health authorities storming the pitch following the starting whistle. The sudden appearance of the authorities on the field set off an altercation between them and both team's officials and players, ending in all concerned leaving the pitch and the game itself being abandoned. The issue, it was later reported, was apparent COVID-19 quarantine breaches by some of the visiting Argentinian players. In particular, it was claimed that four English Premier League players provided false information regarding their covid-status upon entering Brazil. By attending the match, Tottenham's Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso and Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia were said to be violating quarantine protocols. FIFA was called upon to investigate the event and recently issued a statement to announce that the halted game be rescheduled.

"After a thorough investigation of the various factual elements and in light of the applicable regulations, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that the match should be replayed on a date and at a location to be decided by FIFA," FIFA.

The statement also highlighted that there was a collective responsibility for the abandonment of the match. As a result, the world football governing body handed out a host of fines and player suspensions:

  • All four La Albiceleste players were banned for two matches each for non-compliance with the FIFA Return to Football Match Protocol. 
  • The Brazilian Football Association was fined for violations relating to order and security (US$540,000) and for withdrawing from the match (US$54,000).
  • The Argentinian Football Association was fined for failing to comply with requirements (US$216,000) and for withdrawing from the match (US$54,000).

It was an expensive twist in the tale for both confederations, especially after suffering two years of COVID-hit finances. However, the suspensions will have little effect on Argentina's remaining two qualification games. The Argentines have already qualified for the 2022 World Cup on points and have just one home game against Venezuela (who sits at the bottom of the table) and an away match against third-place Ecuador.

In fact, both Brazil and Argentina have already qualified for the 2022 tournament. They are almost guaranteed to finish in the top two of South America's qualifying league. So, the results of their head-to-head will also mean relatively little in the grand scheme of things.

Main image: reuters.com

Published: February 14, 2022
Last updated: February 14, 2022
Related Articles