Football

“It makes me very sad” – Scaloni unhappy with Brazil-Argentina fracas

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Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni said it was disappointing a resolution could not be found before the game got under way.

Brazil and Argentina’s World Cup qualifier was suspended just minutes after kick off on Sunday after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players they believe broke quarantine rules.

The dramatic intervention came hours after Brazil’s health authorities had said four England-based players for Argentina had to quarantine.

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.

“It makes me very sad,” Scaloni 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.”

In a statement after the event, South American football’s governing body Conmebol said: “By decision of the match referee, the match organized by Fifa between Brazil and Argentina for the World Cup Qualifiers is suspended.

“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.”

The players with English Premier League clubs are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa and Giovani lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur. Although the officials did not name the players.

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