Argentina appeals decision to replay World Cup qualifier

Argentina appeals decision to replay World Cup qualifier

Soccer Football – World Cup – South American Qualifiers – Brazil v Argentina – Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Brazil – September 5, 2021 Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar are seen as play is halted after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of three Argentine players say they have broken quarantine rules REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

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BUENOS AIRES, April 23 (Reuters) – The Argentine Football Association (AFA) is appealing FIFA’s decision to force Brazil and Argentina to repeat their World Cup qualifier, which was canceled after five minutes due to a COVID-19 violation quarantine rules.

A union official said Argentina will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“We think the decision was unfair and we believe that Argentina did not ensure that the match was cancelled,” Andres Urich, an adviser to the union, told Argentine television. “We think we are right and we think we should go to court.”

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Earlier in the day, Argentine media released a letter from FIFA that reportedly instructed the two teams to play the canceled game on September 22.

The original game was canceled in September 2021 when Brazilian health officials accused four Argentine players of misleading officials about their COVID-19 status.

The officials said the Argentines had broken rules stating that travelers who had been in the UK, South Africa or India in the past two weeks were not allowed to enter Brazil unless they were nationals or had permanent residence permits.

The players had misled border officials by stating that they had not been to any red-listed country in the 14 days before the game, Brazilian officials said.

Argentine officials said they believed the same protocols used in Brazil’s Copa America last June were in effect for the World Cup qualifiers, allowing teams to travel across the continent. The South American Football Confederation confirmed that interpretation.

However, FIFA suspended the four players for two games and said they wanted to play the game.

Argentina appealed that decision two months ago but said it had not received a resolution and hastily called Friday’s decision.

“It is rushed because it does not answer the first appeal and that has been confirmed, there is another case, which is the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the AFA will appeal,” said Urich.

The outcome of the match between South America’s two footballing superpowers is irrelevant to World Cup qualifiers, as both teams have already secured their place in Qatar.

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Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo in Buenos Aires; Written by Andrew Downie; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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