Brazil-Argentina halted as health officials storm field over quarantine issues

Just minutes into the match, the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was suspended on Sunday when Brazilian health officials stormed the pitch to confront three players who are accused of lying on their immigration forms to avoid the required COVID-19 quarantine. 

Brazilian Health Authority officials potentially trying to deport @Argentina players
Players going back into the tunnel #BRAvsARG#WCQ#CONMEBOLpic.twitter.com/gIENNTjfZz

— fuboTV (@fuboTV) September 5, 2021

Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa are three of four Argentina players who also play in the England-based Premier League. All four were told by Brazilian health authorities just hours before the game kicked off that they needed to leave Brazil and isolate immediately. They'd very recently been to the UK, and Brazil requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country who has spent time in the UK over the past two weeks. 

Lo Celso, Romero, and Martinez were all starting for Argentina against Brazil on Sunday despite being told to leave the country and quarantine. They should have quarantined on arrival, but allegedly lied on their immigration forms to avoid that. An investigation from Brazil's health agency, Anvisa, apparently revealed that information, and they alerted local health authorities and law enforcement to intervene in what they called "a serious health risk," via The Athletic.

Argentina walked off the pitch once the hubbub began, but Brazil stayed out there until at least the match was officially suspended. 

Brazilian players remain on the pitch
no refs
no @Argentina players#CONMEBOL#WCQ#BRAvsARGpic.twitter.com/KfW2PfGl9w

— fuboTV (@fuboTV) September 5, 2021

Then one of the goals was moved in and it appeared that a training session was taking place while Argentina's issues were being worked through. 

The @CBF_Futebol teams are trading shots right now!
😂😂😂 #CONMEBOL#BRAvsARGpic.twitter.com/3je39ibYYB

— fuboTV (@fuboTV) September 5, 2021

FIFA would later confirm the qualifier had been officially suspended, with further details to come.

FIFA can confirm that following a decision by the match officials, the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match Brazil vs. Argentina has been suspended. Further details will follow in due course.

— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) September 5, 2021

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