Four Argentine players told to isolate, hours before Brazil game

The official line ups published by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) showed Argentina with Emiliano Martinez in goal, Cristian Romero in central defence and Giovani Lo Celso in midfield.

The three were among four Argentine players who play in England’s Premier League. All four were accused of breaking Brazil’s quarantine laws by health regulator Anvisa.

Under Brazilian rules visitors who have been in the UK in the 14 days before entering the country must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Anvisa was tipped off the four did not state that information on their immigration forms and on Sunday said they confirmed the details given were “false”.

“Anvisa considers the situation a serious health risk and so has asked local health authorities to determine the immediate quarantine of the players, who are stopped from participating in any activity and should be prevented from remaining on Brazilian soil,” Anvisa said in a statement.

Nevertheless, no such action was taken and the three, along with Emiliano Buendia, were allowed to travel with the Argentine team from the hotel to the Corinthians arena.

Buendia and Martinez play for Aston Villa and Lo Celso and Romero are with Tottenham Hotspur.

The confusion comes amid anger in South America at rules which have robbed several teams of key players for this month’s three World Cup qualifiers in the South American group.

Brazil are without nine key men for the Argentina game, and other South American sides have also lost players due to a decision by some European clubs not to let their players travel to the continent.

They would have to quarantine on return and the clubs do not want to lose their players for subsequent league games.

Aston Villa said the two Emilianos had agreed to return to their club after the Brazil game and miss Argentina’s next match against Bolivia on Tuesday.

The Argentine Football Association, however, said they would play all three games.

It was not clear what would happen to the four after the match.

Brazil currently lead the South American qualifying group for Qatar 2022, six points ahead of second-placed Argentina. The top four qualify automatically for the tournament.