Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifier was called off only minutes after it began on Sunday because Brazilian health officials protested to the inclusion of three Argentine players who they think violated quarantine regulations.
After the game was called off, the visitors walked off the field at the Corinthians Arena.
The extraordinary intervention occurred only hours after Brazil’s health officials ordered isolation for four Argentina players residing in England.
Although the four players were not named, they are Aston Villa’s Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez, and Tottenham Hotspur’s Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero.
Martinez, Lo Celso, and Romero all started out in Sao Paulo.
Argentina’s players have returned home to prepare for their next World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on Friday, September 10th.
Fifa will now gather information from all stakeholders in order to fully understand the facts behind the match suspension before deciding on the best course of action.
“The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the Fifa Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to be followed. These procedures strictly adhere to current regulations.”
Under Brazilian rules, visitors who have been in the UK in the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
“We got to this point because everything that ANVISA directed, from the first moment, was not fulfilled,” Antonio Barra Torres, director at Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa, said on Brazilian television, according to AFP.
“[The four players] were directed to remain isolated while awaiting deportation, but they did not comply. They went to the stadium and they entered the field, in a series of breaches,” the official added.
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni said it was disappointing a resolution could not be found before the game got under way.
“It makes me very sad,” he said. “I am not looking for any culprit. If something happened or did not happen, it was not the time to make that intervention.
“It should have been a party for everyone, to enjoy the best players in the world. I would like the people of Argentina to understand that as a coach I have to defend my players.
“At no time were we notified that they couldn’t play the match. We wanted to play the match, the Brazilian footballers too.”
The Argentine Football Association said the team had been in Brazil since 3 September and had complied with all the health protocols.
“Football should not experience these kinds of episodes that undermine the sportsmanship of such an important competition,” it said.
Brazilian Football Confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues criticised the health officials for the timing of their intervention.
“I feel sorry for all the sports fans who wanted to watch the game on television,” he told Brazil’s Sportv.
“With all due respect to Anvisa, they could have resolved this earlier and not waited for the game to start.”