Aston Villa pair at the centre of World Cup qualifier suspension

One of the biggest rivalries in the history of the beautiful game, also known as the ‘Superclásico’, took place at the Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo as Argentina faced Brazil in a World Cup 2022 qualifier match.

However, a surprising turn of events took place as Brazilian health officials invaded the pitch and stopped the match just moments into the game.

As reported by Birmingham Live, the Brazilian health officials charged Aston Villa duo Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez–and also Tottenham Hotspur duo Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso–for breaching Brazil’s COVID-19 quarantine protocols and wanted the Premier League players to be deported as immediate measures.

What was the reason behind the Argentina Brazil match halt?

Martinez, Romero, Lo Celso were all involved in what was intended to be an iconic and tense World Cup 2022 qualifying match between Argentina and Brazil.

However, after the controversial accusation and halt of play by Brazil’s health official, the referee eventually called off the match at 0-0. As reported by AP News, Brazil’s health officials have claimed that the Argentine-based Premier League footballers should have been in quarantine following their trip from England.

Due to Brazil’s COVID-19 regulations, football players traveling from Great Britain or anywhere on Brazil’s COVID “red list” must observe a 14-day quarantine policy.

The Villa duo has been accused of providing deceitful information at the airport and flouting Brazil’s COVID-19 quarantine protocols by Brazilian health authorities. In accordance with the verdict of Antonio Barra Torres, the president of Brazil’s health agency, Anvisa, the Aston Villa duo will be fined and deported from Brazil.

FIFA will decide if the Premier League footballers involved will be permitted to represent their country in the remainder of the World Cup qualifiers.