ZURICH ( Associated Press) — FIFA dismissed appeals filed by the Brazilian and Argentine federations on Monday and both teams will have to play the World Cup qualifying game that was suspended last year amid chaos in the the Sao Paulo court for non-compliance with the protocols against the coronavirus pandemic.
In one of the most unusual episodes of the past qualifying rounds, Brazilian public health officials entered the field, just minutes after kick-off last September, to see if four Argentine players had complied with the quarantine requirement.
Both countries easily qualified for the World Cup, finishing at the top of the 10-team table in South America, and without having to play the match in Brazil. They participated in the draw held last month for the Qatar event, from November 21 to December 18.
However, the new FIFA ruling forces Brazil and Argentina to play an 18th qualifying game, one that is of no importance, possibly in September.
It could be the second time that the two great rivals from South America meet Qatar in the prelude.
After the initial ruling by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in February — which imposed fines, player suspensions and the order to play the match — the Brazilian and Argentine federations agreed to a friendly duel in Australia.
That “Superclásico” was scheduled for June 11 in Melbourne.
Both federations may appeal FIFA’s ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The FIFA Appeal Committee rejected the appeals from Brazil and Argentina. Only the economic fines for both federations were lowered.
Brazil will have to pay 250,000 Swiss francs ($251,000) for “public order and security breaches.
Argentina was fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,500) “for failing to fulfill its obligations relating to preparations for and participation in the match.”
Both will have to pay 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,250) due to the suspension.
The match was stopped after seven minutes because four Argentine players from English Premier League clubs — Emiliano Martínez, Emiliano Buendía, Giovanni Lo Celso and Cristian Romero — were accused of making false statements upon entering Brazil when they failed to mention that they had been in Great Britain — a country on the red list — in the previous 14 days. Three of them were on the court at the time.
Buendía, Martínez, Lo Celso and Romero received two-game suspensions in official matches.
It is presumed that both Argentina and Brazil do not want to play a classic two months before the World Cup.
In the World Cup, Argentina will face Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Brazil will face Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon.