FIFA has banned four Argentina players who play in the Premier League clubs, after last September’s abandoned 2022 World Cup qualifying game against Brazil.
The match was halted by medical officials a few minutes after it kicked off, with COVID-19 restrictions at the time being cited. The Aston Villa duo of Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, as well as Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso – who joined Villarreal on loan in January, were accused by the government of providing false information in relation to their immigration forms and COVID-19 declarations.
At the time, travel between Brazil and England was banned, with Brazilian authorities insisting that the four players should not play in the fixture. FIFA launched disciplinary proceedings into the matter shortly after the game and has now suspended all four players from playing in two matches each “for not complying with the FIFA Return to Football International Match Protocol”. The match will also now be replayed at a venue still to be determined, even though both nations have already qualified for the Qatar World Cup later this year.