Thursday, 23 May, 2024

FIFA: Brazil, Argentina must play abandoned World Cup qualifier



The decision means that the South American football giants, who have qualified for the World Cup, seem set to play their essentially meaningless 18th qualifying game, possibly in September.

The two countries could still challenge FIFA again in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the replay order.
The two countries could still challenge FIFA again in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the replay order. (AP)

Brazil and Argentina have lost their appeals to FIFA and will have to play the World Cup qualifying game that was abandoned last year in Sao Paulo amid chaos on the field caused by pandemic rule breaches.

Both countries have easily qualified for the World Cup as the top two teams in the 10-nation South American group without needing to play the abandoned game.

They took part in the draw last month for the final tournament, which is scheduled to be played from November 21-December 18 in Qatar. The qualifier might be the second time the rivals meet ahead of going to Qatar.

In one of the most bizarre scenes during the qualifying stage, Brazilian health officials came onto the field minutes after kickoff last September to dispute the quarantine status of some Argentina players.

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Fines slashed

Since the original FIFA disciplinary ruling in February—which imposed fines, player suspensions and an order to replay the qualifier—the soccer federations of Brazil and Argentina agreed to play a friendly in Australia.

That “Superclasico” is scheduled for June 11 in Melbourne.

The two federations could challenge FIFA again in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn the replay order.

FIFA did cut the amount the two federations were fined.

Brazil now has been ordered to pay $251,000 for “infringements related to order and security” at the game.

Argentina has now been fined $100,500 for “obligations in relation to the preparation of and its participation in the match.”

Both will also pay $50,250 for the game being abandoned.

Four Argentina players with Premier League clubs were accused of falsifying coronavirus declarations to enter Brazil by failing to state they had been in red-listed Britain in the previous 14 days.

Emiliano Buendia, Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero got two-match bans from FIFA-organised games.

Argentina will face Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia at the World Cup. Brazil will play Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon in group stage.

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