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Sunday, September 24, 2023

FIFA bans three Premier League stars

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The world football governing body, FIFA, has banned four Argentina players – three from the Premier League – after September’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil was abandoned for not following international match protocols.

Aston Villa’s Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez and Tottenham’s Cristian Romero have been sanctioned and will miss the final two qualifiers. Giovani Lo Celso has also been banned.

The match in Sao Paulo was halted after kick-off as health officials felt the players had broken quarantine rules.

The dramatic intervention from Brazilian authorities striding onto the pitch came just five minutes into the qualifier at the Corinthians Arena on 5 September.

FIFA’s disciplinary committee said the match will be replayed on a date and location to be decided by football’s world governing body.

Both Brazil and Argentina have two games remaining but have already qualified for the finals in Qatar later this year.

Following an investigation, FIFA banned Buendia, Martinez and Romero, as well as Villarreal midfielder Lo Celso, on loan from Tottenham, for two matches. That rules them out of the remaining home game against Venezuela and away trip to Ecuador.

Brazilian rules at the time stated anyone that who had been in the UK 14 days before arriving in the country must quarantine for 14 days immediately upon arrival.

The Argentine Football Association said the team complied with all health protocols. Both Brazil and Argentina Football Associations have been fined £40,000 after the abandonment of the match.

The Brazilian FA are to pay a £400,000 fine for infringements relating to order and security. While Argentine FA are to pay a £160,000 fine for failure to comply with obligations relating to order and security, as well as its preparations for the match.=

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