On Sunday, as the controversy over COVID-19 protocols erupted, Argentina’s football team was sensationally abandoned shortly after kick-off from Brazil’s World Cup qualifying clash. The match between the two giants was halted when Brazilian health officials ran onto the pitch and triggered a melee that involved team officials and players from both sides.
The intervention came hours after the health authorities in Brazil said that four England-based players in Argentina’s team needed to be placed in “immediate quarantine” as they breached the COVID-19 protocols. According to Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency, four players provided “false information” upon their entry to Brazil. The premier league players who were accused are Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa), and Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa). Lionel Messi, captain of the Argentina team along with his teammates trooped off the field as confusion reigned over the fate of the game. Later the game was suspended till further notice and CONMEBOL did not say if the match would be replayed or either team would forfeit the game.
The premier league players were accused of not disclosing the fact that they had spent time in the United Kingdom in the last 14 days prior to their arrival in Brazil. The laws are strict as the infection has claimed more than 580,000 lives across the nation.