Brazilian health officials somehow found a way to outshine soccer superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar on Sunday. With the Argentina – Brazil match already underway, the Brazilian federal police and local health officials walked onto the pitch and attempted to remove multiple players from the Argentina team. Brazilian officials cited a failure to comply with COVID protocols as the reason for the invasion.
Absolutely wild scene at the Argentina-Brazil match… Brazilian Federal Police show up & walk on field; trying to DEPORT 4 Argentinian players for lying about following COVID protocols to enter country. Argentina has walked off the field 😲pic.twitter.com/VZOPkFpPpD
— Josh Sánchez (@joshnsanchez) September 5, 2021
The World Cup qualifier was halted in the 7th minute when numerous coronabros decided to become part of the story. Prior to the match, four Argentina team members — Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, Giovanni Lo Celso and Cristian Romero — were told they needed to quarantine and would be not be able to play because they were not in compliance with Brazil’s COVID-19 protocols. However, Martinez, Buendia, Lo Celso and Romero all said the hell with it and decided to play anyways.
Working harder than anyone should on a Sunday, Brazilian federal police and health officials attempted to strong arm the players into leaving, causing chaos and confusion.
“The decision to interrupt the match was never within (Brazilian health agency) Anvisa’s reach. However, fielding players who did not comply with Brazilian laws and health norms, and also offered false information to authorities did require the agency to act, at its time and its way,” said the Brazilian agency.
Play was eventually suspended by referees with the match tied 0-0.
Amid the chaos, Brazil threatened to deport the Argentinian players who ignored the country’s protocols.
“A match between some of the best in the world ends like this. I would like people in Argentina to understand that as a coach I have to take care of my players. If people come and say they have to deport them, I will not allow,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni told TyC Sports. “We wanted to play the match, so did the Brazilians.”
With a World Cup qualifier suspended, FIFA can’t mask the fact that they have a giant mess on their hands.