Brazil-Argentina in Covid-19 chaos as health chiefs stop game to deport Premier League stars
The game between Brazil and Argentina has been suspended after Brazilian health chiefs walked on to the pitch and stopped it.
Officials hauled the players off after three Premier League stars confirmed they had not completed a mandatory stint in quarantine following entry into the country.
Emi Martinez, Cristian Romero and Giovanni Lo Celso all started the match for Argentina - despite being ordered to isolate for Covid-related reasons.
The three stars - along with Emi Buendia - travelled from England to play for Argentina, but the UK is on Brazil's red list.
Both Brazil and Argentina players were required to complete a stint in quarantine are reportedly lied to immigration officers about where they had been.
They were ordered to go into isolation immediately - but three of them were part of Lionel Scaloni's starting line-up to face Brazil.
The Premier League stars failed to evade the authorities, though, as health officials raced on to the pitch and halted the game after seven minutes.
Soon after the health officials had confirmed the cancellation of the much awaited game the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar appeared to demonstrate with the health chiefs but their efforts - so far, at least - have failed.
The Brazil vs Argentina fixture was abandoned due to a failure to adhere to public health regulations by Argentina's four Premier League-based players.
Lionel Messi could have drawn level with Pele this evening in becoming the highest scoring South American of all time in international football. Messi is on 76, Pele 77.
Brazil top the qualifying group, having won their first seven World Cup qualifying games for the first time in their history.
Meanwhile, Thursday's 3-1 victory away to Venezuela means Argentina sit comfortably in second position. Both already have one foot in Qatar.