Blame game: FIFA launches disciplinary proceedings against Brazil and Argentina after World Cup qualifier fiasco

FIFA has announced it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the football associations of South American giants Brazil and Argentina after their World Cup qualifier was suspended on Sunday.

In scenes that were described as a "global embarrassment" by local media, the match between the two teams at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo lasted around five minutes before being abandoned.

Accusing them of falsifying documents upon entry to the continent's largest country on Friday morning, Brazilian health officials and police officers stormed the field attempting to arrest and deport three out of four Argentine players that had allegedly lied about or concealed the fact they had been in the UK in the past fortnight.

At present, foreign nationals arriving from the British Isles in Brazil must spend 14 days in quarantine in fear of the Covid Delta variant spreading, which Premier League stars Emiliano Buendia, Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero allegedly attempted to circumvent.

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Lionel Messi was angry as the match between Brazil and Argentina was suspended. © Reuters
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Argentina left the pitch amid the confusion as Brazil carried out an impromptu training session.

Later that evening, the Copa America winners led by captain Lionel Messi returned to Buenos Aires with the offending quartet reported as deported.

The matter far from over, however, with Conmebol accused of persuading the Brazilian CBF into letting Argentina field the men without protest, FIFA of course has the last word as the fixture helps determine who goes to Qatar to play the World Cup next year.

On Tuesday afternoon, the governing body announced in a statement that "following the analysis of the official match reports" related to the qualifier, "FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened involving both member associations".

"The two teams were asked to provide further information on the facts that led to the suspension of the match, which will be gathered and then thoroughly reviewed by FIFA's Disciplinary Committee," it continued, before promising that "updates will follow in due course".

Among fans of either team, debate rages as to who abandoned the game and who should suffer a 3-0 loss with three points awarded to the other party.

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Lionel Messi and Neymar both appeared disappointed by the Brazil v Argentina suspension. © Reuters
Brazil and Argentina point the finger at each another, but there’s plenty of blame to go around after their global embarrassment

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