There were incredible scenes during Brazil vs Argentina World Cup qualifier
in Sao Pauo on Sunday as health officials came onto the pitch five minutes into
the match in order to detain four Argentina players.
Officials hauled the players off after three Prem stars had not completed a mandatory
stint in quarantine following entry into the country.
Emi Martinez, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso all started the match for
Argentina – despite being ordered to isolate for Covid-related reasons.
The three stars – along with Emi Buendia – traveled from England to play for
Argentina, but the UK is on Brazil’s red list.
The players who were required to complete a stint in quarantine reportedly lied
to immigration officers about where they had been.
They were ordered to go into isolation immediately – but three of them were part of
Lionel Scaloni’s starting XI to face Brazil.
The Prem stars failed to evade the authorities, though, as health officials raced on to
the pitch and halted the game after seven minutes.
The likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar appeared to demonstrate with the health chiefs
but their efforts – so far, at least – have failed.
Even if the match goes ahead and the Prem stars avoid quarantining in Brazil, they
won’t have the same luck when they return to the UK.
Premier League chiefs refused to release South American stars for international duty
because of the government’s Covid rules.
Martinez, Romero, Lo Celso, and Bunedia will all need to quarantine for ten days on
return – meaning they will miss the next two Prem games.
That’s because Argentina’s final World Cup qualifier of the international break is
against Bolivia in the early hours of Friday morning.
And Tottenham favorites Romero and Lo Celso will miss THREE games due to the
team’s Europa Conference League commitments.
Brazil was not happy the Argentines were allowed to travel to South America for the
fixtures as their Prem stars did not make the journey.
The five-time World Cup winners demanded nine players from six Prem clubs to be
released – despite the chaos it would cause.
Brazil boss Tite wanted to select Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino, Ederson, Gabriel
Jesus, Thiago Silva, Fred, Raphinha and Richarlison.