Former Sheffield Wednesday man 'DETAINED' DURING MATCH in remarkable scenes
A former Sheffield Wednesday player was among four UK-based Argentina players detained by Brazilian authorities yesterday as officials swarmed the pitch to bring to an end a vital World Cup qualifier.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who spent time on loan at Hillsborough during the 2013/14 season, was among the players taken from the field seven minutes into his country’s away clash with their hosts at the Neo Química Arena in São Paulo.
Tottenham Hotspur pair Giovano Lo Celso and Cristian Romero also started the match. Villa’s Emiliano Buendia was not in the squad but is also believed to have been detained.
The issue centres on the players’ alleged breaking of coronavirus travel restrictions. 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.
The match was of course suspended. It is not yet clear what will happen to the result of the match or to the players involved.
“We got to this point because everything that ANVISA directed, from the first moment, was not fulfilled,” Antonio Barra Torres, director at Brazil's health regulator Anvisa, said on Brazilian television.
“[The four players] were directed to remain isolated while awaiting deportation, but they did not comply. They went to the stadium and they entered the field, in a series of breaches,” the official added.
In farcical scenes, with a crowd present expecting to see a match between two of the world’s greatest football nations, Brazil manager Tite attempted a series of keep-ups in order to entertain the masses before the home side threw on an impromptu training session.