In the decision in which it sentenced the CBF (Confederaço Brasileira de Ftbol) and the AFA (Argentina Football Association) to pay fines and reschedule the match for the suspended qualifiers on September 5, 2021, FIFA’s disciplinary committee stated that both associations , “through their respective conduct, which culminated in the abandonment of the match, tarnished the reputation of FIFA and football”.
The full document, dated 9 February, is what happened when Anvisa (National Health Monitoring Agency) officials entered the Neo Quimica Arena lawn in So Paulo, informing four Argentine players that they had not followed health protocols. Pandemic, such as the “chaotic and sad” scene to enter Brazil.
“The event was broadcast via television to millions of viewers and thus tarnished the competitions. [da Fifa] and football. Such incidents are completely intolerable and condemnable and deserve a serious sanction to prevent such incidents from happening again,” wrote three members of the decision-making committee – Enin Yeboa (Ghana), Thomas Holler (Austria) and Yasser al-Mishal (Arab, Saudi).
In addition to rescheduling the match, which was to take place on 22 September and still without a defined venue, the committee understood that the CBF did not fulfill its role of organizing the match, as a home team, safely and on union. fined 500,000 Swiss francs ( R$ 2.5 million). According to the committee, the AFA failed to comply with sanitary protocol and was fined 200,000 Swiss francs (R$1 million). Both received a further fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs (R$250,000) for leaving the game. Argentine players Lo Celso, Buendia, Martínez and Romero were all suspended for two matches.
The CBF and AFA appealed, and the FIFA Appeals Committee in May reduced the value of the largest fines to 250 thousand Swiss francs (R$1.25 million) for Brazilians and 100 thousand Swiss francs (R$500 thousand) for Argentines. . The game was rescheduled and a minor penalty was retained. Both entities can appeal to the third and final instance, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which, like FIFA, is based in Switzerland.
Lo Celso, Buendia, Martínez and Romero played in England and Brazil due to sanitary regulations to combat COVID-19, at which time, they would be required to observe a quarantine upon disembarkation, as long as 14 days before arriving in London. were in in country. In the documents they presented at immigration, the athletes did not enter this information, which the Brazilian authorities understood as an attempt to circumvent the rules. The AFA says there was a minor error, an involuntary omission of this information.
After two days of negotiations and an attempt by the government to exempt athletes from staying in the country, they went to the Neo Quimica Arena and Anvisa officials entered the arena, with five minutes of play going on, to inform them that they would Will have to leave the country.
In the report of the representative of the match, to whom the committee assisted in the decision, it is written that it was he who decided to take the delegation off the field to avoid a fight and after half an hour and without understanding the officials. Definitely postpone the match.
The document also brings out the defense arguments of each union:
– advised the AFA and CONMEBOL within a reasonable time frame regarding health regulations for entry into Brazil;
– there was no way to prevent AVISA officials from entering the area, as they are autonomous oversight bodies;
– Blaming the AFA for not following the health agency’s guidelines and not agreeing to continue the match;
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– which follows the sanitary bubble rules defined by FIFA and CONMEBOL as applicable in international tournaments. and that the attendance at the delegation of the mentioned players in the United Kingdom was public for 14 days prior to their entry into Brazil;
– that they did not know that they would need to request a waiver for these players and they did so after a meeting, with a guarantee from the Brazilian government that it would be given and that they were not informed in time that it was done Was denied. that it was only 15:40, 20 minutes before the game, that an email was sent about it;
– there was an involuntary omission, a minor error in filling out the athletes’ documents;
– that there was an agreement with Anvisa that players would only be notified at halftime (same version of the game rep).
In the decision, the committee decided to reschedule the match even after the qualifiers have already been completed and with Brazil and Argentina already classified for the Qatar World Cup, as According to the Code of Discipline, there are only two types of punishment for leaving the field of play. : Give a WO to one of the teams (3-0 win) or reschedule the match.
As the Committee understood that there was no main culprit for what happened, that is, the CBF and AFA shared responsibilities, rescheduling was the only possible decision.