Brazil-Argentina halted after health officials intervene


A World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was halted just minutes after kickoff on Sunday after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they say broke quarantine rules.

Argentina walked off the pitch at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo after the officials entered the pitch to stop the game.

Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa had the sought the immediate isolation of four Argentine players on Sunday, hours the game was set to kick off.

The official line-ups published by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) showed Argentina with Emiliano Martinez in goal, Cristian Romero in central defence and Giovani Lo Celso in midfield.

The three were among four Argentine players who play in England’s Premier League. All four were accused of breaking Brazil’s quarantine laws by health regulator Anvisa.

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.

Anvisa was tipped off the four did not state that information on their immigration forms and on Sunday said they confirmed the details given were “false”.

“Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk and so has asked local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from participating in any activity and should be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil,” Anvisa said in a statement.

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