Brazilian health authorities and Federal police have stormed the site of a soccer match between Brazil and Argentina, halting the action mid-match so that four Argentinian players could be seized and deported for allegedly refusing to follow Brazil’s COVID-19 protocols. The action has been heavily criticized as being suspiciously timed, as the health authorities had three previous days to deport the players but chose to wait until the game was mid-match.
Video footage captured the Brazilian authorities storming the field and trying to grab Giovanni Lo Celso, Cristian Romero, Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez, creating a shoving match on the field. The Brazilian players appeared to be confused about what was going on, going up to the officials and interrogating them.
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) September 5, 2021
Brazilian health officials just stopped a World Cup qualifier between Brazil & Argentina.
They wanted to detain four Argentina players for not disclosing they came from the UK, breaking COVID protocols when entering Brazil.
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) September 5, 2021
❗The game between Argentina and Brazil is suspended, the Argentinian players are back in the locker.
— B/R Goal (@br_goal) September 5, 2021
The game will not be resumed, and Brazilian health agency president Antonio Barra Torres stated that four Argentina players will be fined and deported for allegedly not following the country’s COVID-19 protocols.