In the conflict over the spectacularly canceled World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina, the Argentines find themselves in need of explanation. Like the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo reported, the Argentine delegation was informed by the Brazilian health authorities 51 minutes before the start of the game on Sunday that the four Argentine England legionaries would have to be “isolated” in the hotel on the basis of the applicable Corona regulations. That was the response to the request of the Argentine delegation from the previous evening to exempt four professionals from any quarantine requirements and therefore to be allowed to use them in the game against Brazil.
Accordingly, the Argentines opposed the quarantine order when they put three of the professionals involved in the starting eleven: Emiliano Martínez from Aston Villa and Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso from Tottenham Hotspur. The result: officials from the health authority Anvisa stormed the lawn in São Paulo in the 6th minute of the game to get the players off the pitch and caused an unprecedented break in the game.
The reason for this was that the four Argentine internationals began their journey in England. However, Brazil counts Great Britain among the Corona high-risk areas, and that in turn means: People who enter from these countries must be in quarantine in Brazil for two weeks. The direct entry of the professionals took place from Venezuela, where Argentina had previously won another World Cup qualifier. However, according to the Brazilian authorities, the Argentinians concerned “withheld” on their entry documents that they had been in Great Britain in the ten days prior to the trip to São Paulo. You were therefore officially expelled from Brazil on Sunday, the police are investigating, and further consequences threaten.
The four Argentinians are back in Europe – but in Croatia, not in England
But there are also confusing information. The Brazilian authorities announced that the entry papers of the four Argentine “Englishmen” had been signed by Fernando Batista. The young coach of the Argentine federation asserted, however, that he had not signed the documents. He hadn’t even been to Brazil.
It is still open how the game will be rated, it was canceled when the score was 0-0. The world association Fifa set the two associations a six-day deadline within which they must explain the incidents. Meanwhile, two of the players concerned threaten further trouble. According to the English media, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso left for South America without the permission of their employer Tottenham – they face a fine for this. The Premier League clubs had originally agreed not to allow employees to travel to South America as they would have to be quarantined when they return to the UK. Because of the Corona rules, the journey is now developing into an odyssey. Or do you have to say: Covidssee?
Although the Argentine national team has yet to play a third qualifying match against Bolivia, the four footballers are now back in Europe. But not in England, but in Croatia for ten days. There they can move around freely – and train in the fresh air. After a ten-day stay, they can go back to England without any problems. Provided, of course, that they stay healthy.