São Paulo – The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anfisa) said, on Sunday, that the Argentine national team players Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, Giovanni Lo Celso and Christian Romero entered the country irregularly, without reporting their presence in the United Kingdom. Therefore, they should be placed in immediate quarantine and leave the country. Therefore, they could not compete in the match against Brazil for the World Cup qualifiers, at 4 pm. Despite this, the four players were chosen to compete in the match at the Neo Química Arena in São Paulo.
Five minutes into the match, Anvisa officials entered the field and demanded that the four athletes be removed in an irregular situation. Argentina decided to remove the team from the stadium and the referee stopped the match.
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Olé, Marca and Clarín have reported, in their digital versions, that the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has an agreement to launch a quarantine between all countries on the continent to allow athletes to play official matches, even if this is true. Not in line with state rules. The federal police even went to the Argentine’s hotel early Sunday afternoon to warn them that they would be deported, but all the players boarded the bus and headed to the stadium in the eastern region of Sao Paulo.
The problem is due to the fact that the Argentine quartet gave false information that they had not been in the UK for the past 14 days. Foreigners from the country are prohibited from entering Brazil. Martinez and Buendia played at Aston Villa against Brentford in the Premier League on August 28 at Villa Park. Lo Celso and Romero were on the bench for Tottenham’s match against Watford on August 29.
The health authority said in a statement that it considered the situation a “grave health hazard” and that it had reported the case to the Federal Police “so that measures are taken within the jurisdiction of the police immediately.” Athletes should be banned from entering the stadium on Sunday for the World Cup qualifier against Brazil. They will be placed in immediate quarantine and then have to leave the country.
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According to the newspaper “Olé”, after being notified of Anvisa’s decision, CONMEBOL pressured the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) to comply with the quarantine release agreement. The South American top hatters could have threatened to take Brazil points if Argentina couldn’t throw the quartet the UK went through and still see the Brazilian side lose control in Thursday’s game against Peru (the match is set to take place in Recife).
The players entered Brazil via Cumbica airport, in Guarulhos, on a flight from Caracas and announced that they had not traveled to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Northern Ireland and India in the last 14 days. Since June, Brazil has imposed entry restrictions on foreigners from these four countries due to the delta-variable spread of the coronavirus in these places.
“In light of the assertion that the information provided by the travelers was false, Anvisa explains that it has already reported the truth to the Federal Police, so that measures are taken within the scope of police authority immediately,” the agency says in a note.
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Anvisa claims to have directed health authorities in Sao Paulo to establish immediate quarantine for players. According to the agency, they are “prohibited from participating in any activity and must be prevented from remaining in Brazilian territory.”
The players even trained with the rest of the Argentine national team in São Paulo, at Parque São Jorge. The Sao Paulo State Health Ministry has sent technicians to the site to investigate the irregular entry of athletes into the country. Earlier, the secretariat said that CONMEBOL had requested permission from Anvisa and the Ministry of Health so that the four players could remain in Brazil and that they were waiting for a response.
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