Argentinean official falsified player travel docs to beat covid rules, say Brazil health chiefs

January 27 – Brazilian health authorities have claimed that an official of the Argentina Football Association (AFA) falsified health declarations before the World Cup qualifier with Brazil last September when officials of Anvisa stormed the pitch in Sao Paulo and brought the match to an end after seven minutes.

Brazilian media report that a letter sent by Anvisa to the federal police confirms that an employee of AFA was responsible for falsifying the health statements of a quartet of national team players who then violated Brazilian health rules and tried to circumvent the mandatory Covid-19 before the match.

In unprecedented scenes, Anvisa officials walked on to the pitch and the match was suspended with Emiliano Martínez, Emiliano Buendia, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero targeted by the health officers.

The four played for English clubs and were subject to a 14-day quarantine on arrival in Brazil under local law in force at the time. The athletes had not complied and reportedly also failed to disclose that they had started their journeys in the United Kingdom.

The Brazilian Confederation of Football (CBF), alongside regional governing body Conmebol, believed that they had negotiated exemption from the federal government in order for the game to take place, but Anvisa took a different point of view.

Conmebol has still not decided whether to set a new date for the match or alternatively award the points to one team.

Both Brazil and Argentina have already ensured their place at the World Cup in Qatar. On Thursday, the Brazilians play Ecuador while second-placed Argentina visit Chile.

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