Brazil chiefs slam ‘inappropriate manner’ Argentina stars were dragged off pitch

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Brazilian football chiefs have criticised the actions of health officials who invaded the pitch during Sunday's World Cup qualifier with Argentina and attempted to remove three Argentine players who they believe broke quarantine rules.

In extraordinary scenes in Sao Paolo, the match between the two South American rivals was halted after just six minutes as officials stormed onto the pitch in a row over quarantine rules.

The intervention came just hours after Brazil's health authorities had declared four Premier League-based players for Argentina had to quarantine following their arrival in the country.

Although it did not name the four, the players with club's in England's top-flight are Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa, and Giovani lo Celso and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur.

The latter trio all started the game in Sao Paolo.

In a statement, the Brazilian FA said: "The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) deeply regrets the events that ended up causing the suspension of the match between Brazil and Argentina, valid for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

"CBF defends the implementation of the most rigorous health protocols and complies with them in their entirety.

"However, he emphasizes that he was absolutely surprised by the moment when the action of the National Health Surveillance Agency took place, with the match having already started, since Anvisa could have exercised its activity in a much more appropriate manner in the various moments and days prior to the match.

"The CBF also emphasizes that at no time, through the interim President, Ednaldo Rodrigues, or its directors, interfered in any point related to the sanitary protocol established by the Brazilian authorities for the entry of people into the country.

"The role of the CBF was always in an attempt to promote understanding between the entities involved so that the sanitary protocols could be fulfilled satisfactorily and the game could be played.

"CBF reiterates its disappointment with the events and awaits the decision of CONMEBOL and FIFA regarding the match."

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