Infantino labels Brazil-Argentina postponement over Covid 'crazy'

Lo Celso, Romero face Spurs backlash for defying club

07 September 2021 - 08:11
By Reuters
Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar are seen as play is interrupted after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they say broke quarantine rules.
Image: Amanda Perobelli Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar are seen as play is interrupted after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they say broke quarantine rules.

Manchester – Fifa has opened an investigation into the postponement of Argentina's World Cup qualifier with Brazil with their president Gianni Infantino labelling the events "crazy" while Tottenham Hotspur were reported to be ready to take disciplinary action against their Argentine players.

Brazilian health authorities intervened on the pitch on Sunday after accusing four Argentine Premier League players of violating the country's Covid-19 quarantine rules.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso were on the Neo Quimica Arena pitch as part of the Argentine line-up when officials from Brazil's health regulator Anvisa walked onto the field and stopped the game around five minutes after kickoff.

Aston Villa midfielder Emiliano Buendia had also travelled from the UK and was in the stands.

Anvisa said that Brazilian rules make clear that travellers who have been in the UK, SA or India during the previous 14 days are forbidden from entering, unless they are Brazilian citizens or have permanent residency.

Fifa said they have received reports from match officials and were gathering further information.

"The information will be analysed by the competent disciplinary bodies and a decision will be taken in due course," Fifa said in a statement.

Infantino, in a video address to the European Club Association's general assembly, said the situation was a reminder of the difficulties the organisation had been facing during the pandemic.

"We saw what happened with the game between Brazil and Argentine, two of South America's most glorious teams. Some officials, police, security officials entered the pitch after a few minutes of the game to take away some players. It is crazy but we need to deal with these challenges, these issues which come on top of the Covid crisis," Infantino said.

Villa and Tottenham did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Tottenham players travelled to the game without the permission of their club.