The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) had requested support from the country’s Federal Police to prevent four Argentinian players from participating in the qualifier, saying that the players in question made false statements upon arriving in Brazil, omitting that they had been in the UK in the past 14 days.
According to Brazilian Covid-19 regulations, any passenger who visited the UK 14 days before arrival cannot enter the country.
According to CNN affiliate CNN Brasil, Anvisa asked for the deportation of Emiliano Martínez, Emiliano Buendía, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero — all English Premier League players.
CONMEBOL continued, “The referee and the match delegate will raise a report to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to follow. These proceedings will abide adhere to current regulations.”
“Here, you can’t speak about any lying because there’s a health legislation that regulates every South American tournament. The health authorities of each country approved a protocol which we followed to the letter.”
Argentinian national team manager Lionel Scaloni added that the events that transpired made him “very sad” and that both teams wanted to play the match.
“This makes me very sad. I’m not looking for any guilty party,” Scaloni said in the statement, “Whether something happened or didn’t happen, it wasn’t the right moment to make that intervention.”
“It should have been a party for all involved, to enjoy the best players in the world. I would like that the Argentinian people understand that, as head coach, I have to defend my players,” Scaloni said. “At no moment did they notify us that that couldn’t play the match. We wanted to play the match, and so did the Brazil players.”
CNN’s Patrick Sung contributed to this report.