Brazil vs Argentina: FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings following suspension of World Cup Qualifier

Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso are set to be disciplined and fined by Tottenham for joining up with the Argentina squad over the international break while Aston Villa's Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez should escape retrospective action from their club following alleged Covid breaches

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Footage of health authorities walking onto the pitch as Brazil vs Argentina is brought to a halt in Sao Paulo. Credit: Premier Sports

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings involving both the Brazilian and Argentinian football associations following the suspension of Sunday's World Cup Qualifier at the Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo.

The match was called off amid extraordinary scenes as officials, believed to be from Brazil's health authority, stormed on to the pitch shortly after kick-off over an alleged coronavirus breach by the visitors' England-based players.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino described the situation as "crazy" on Monday, and the world governing body's disciplinary committee will now investigate the circumstances which led to the suspension.

"Following the analysis of the official match reports related to the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina, FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened involving both member associations," a statement from FIFA read.

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South American football expert Tim Vickery says Argentina's traveling party knew there was an issue regarding the travel history of their four Premier League players the day before they were due to play Brazil in a World Cup qualifier

"The two teams were asked to provide further information on the facts which led to the suspension of the match, which will be gathered and then thoroughly reviewed by FIFA's disciplinary committee. Updates will follow in due course."

Tottenham duo Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero are set to be fined after they joined up with Lionel Scaloni's squad in South America for Argentina's triple-header against Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia without the club's permission.

Aston Villa's Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez both followed an agreement set out by their club over the international break and there is no suggestion the pair will be disciplined for their actions.

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The quartet, who were accused of not abiding by strict coronavirus protocols upon their entry to Brazil, will be absent from Argentina's third game against Bolivia in the early hours of Friday morning UK time and have flown to Croatia to continue training before they rejoin their English clubs.

Tottenham's Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, right, react after Pacos de Ferreira score the opening goal
Image: Tottenham's Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso will be disciplined upon their return to the club

Anvisa, Brazil's health regulator, said health protocols make clear that travellers who have been in the UK, South Africa or India during the previous 14 days are forbidden from entering the country unless they are Brazilian citizens or have permanent residency.

It said Argentinian players had made false statements about their previous whereabouts on immigration forms.

Brazil's Federal Police said on Monday they had opened a formal inquiry into the actions of the four Argentinian players.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) expressed its "deep discomfort" at the suspension of the match and insisted its players abided by all health regulations, and Brazil's FA said it "deeply regrets" Sunday's events.

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