Brazil, Argentina, CONMEBOL Blamed by Health Agency Anvisa for Chaos in World Cup Qualifier
After the chaos that halted Sunday's World Cup qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina, health agency Anvisa blamed the respective countries' soccer federations and the South American soccer body CONMEBOL for the commotion.
According to the Daily Union, Brazilian health agency Anvisa published a statement Wednesday stressing the lack of collaboration in fulfilling health protocols established in Brazil by those involved, including CBF, CONMEBOL, AFA, and the players themselves, resulted in chaos.
Brazil's Health Regulatory Agency Anvisa Blames Three Soccer Bodies
Anvisa said the players deliberately obstructed the protocols and embarrassed Brazilian public officers when they were just performing their duty in favor of the Brazilian people's health.
The two national soccer federations and CONMEBOL deny any wrongdoing. But Anvisa noted that the three soccer bodies attempted to mislead the status of four players before kickoff.
It can be recalled that the match was interrupted when an Anvisa agent and a cop walked onto the pitch at the NeoQuimica Arena to remove four Argentina players who the agency said should be in quarantine. The match was later suspended.
Anvisa noted that it warned the two countries' respective soccer bodies regarding the need for isolation of those players since Saturday and accused both teams of not disclosing that they had recently been to the U.K., a country red-listed in Brazil's COVID-19 protocol.
Anvisa said its agent decided to enter the pitch after he heard the national anthems being played, which the agent considered the final evidence of noncompliance with Brazil's health regulations, USA Today reported.
"As we arrived at the tunnel we stopped because we saw the match was underway. So we begin a series of conversations with several people who identified as members of CONMEBOL, CBF, and AFA," Anvisa quoted the agent assigned in the situation and the one who entered the pitch.
The report of Anvisa also said that in contact with match official Rodrigo Luis alongside police investigator Pedro Henrique, the agent asked whether they could come onto the pitch to notify the players of both countries, and both of them confirmed. Henrique initially moved, and he followed.
Furthermore, the Anvisa agent said he never meant to halt the match. He clarified that they did not enter the pitch to negotiate and what they have done was a legal action and a correction for both teams' noncompliance.
The agent revealed that a CBF representative tried to argue about waiting until the break so they could be substituted, but they refused.
Brazil and Argentina's Denial
Lionel Scaloni, the Argentinian coach, defended his decision to field three of his four players in question earlier on Wednesday. Argentinian player Emiliano Buendia was not in the stadium. The three others, namely Emiliano Martínez, Cristian Romero, Giovanni Lo Celso, were starters in the match.
Scaloni also said they had approval from CONMEBOL for players to go to the pitch and play. FIFA opened an investigation, and they would decide on whether the match will be replayed.
Associated Press reported that Coach Tite, the coach of the Brazilian Football team, said the four players should be blamed for the chaos. He noted that all comments by Anvisa, the health ministry, were correct. He said soccer was not above laws, as "we are dealing with lives here."
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written By: Jess Smith
WATCH: Brazil vs. Argentina: Why Was the Match Abandoned? What Happens Now? - From ESPN FC
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