Brazil’s CBF blames local authorities for security issues at Brazil-Argentina 2026 qualifier

November 23 – The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) has refused to accept responsibility for the chaos and violence at the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium, claiming that local authorities had not objected to security arrangements, or to the lack of segregation of the fans.

In a long, nine-paragraph statement the CBF made no apologies for the violent scenes that saw police charge Argentina fans with batons. Instead, the CBF defended the match organisation.

“Staging the match with mixed fans has always been within the purview of the RJ Military Police and other public authorities, as is the standard in competitions organized by FIFA and Conmebol,” said the CBF.

However, Article 17 of FIFA’s Disciplinary Code lays the responsibility for order and security with the host association. Conmebol in a statement condemned the violence but noted that it was not the organiser of the World Cup qualifiers.

The CBF said that “the action and security plans were approved without any reservations or recommendations by the public security authorities present (RJ military police, SEPOL, the Public Ministry, Fan Court, Municipal Guard, CET-RIO, mayor, concession holder Maracanã, SEOP, etc.).”

The governing body continued: “Other matches between Brazil and Argentina, even with greater appeal, such as the 2019 Copa América semi-final, were also played with mixed fans. This is not a model invented or imposed by the CBF.”

In total, more than 700 military police officers as well as 1,050 private security guards were deployed to ensure safety and security around the match. Argentina fans did not have a separate entrance to the stadium and the stadium block reserved for their fans was not protected by lines of security officers.

Following the fighting, the match was delayed by 30 minutes as Lionel Messi and Argentina walked off and returned to the dressing room.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1716804688labto1716804688ofdlr1716804688owedi1716804688sni@i1716804688tnuk.1716804688ardni1716804688mas1716804688