Violent clashes mar Brazil vs Argentina World Cup qualifier

Violent clashes mar Brazil vs Argentina World Cup qualifier
Courtesy: Reuters

Brazil vs Argentina: Following altercations between police and visiting supporters at Maracana Stadium on Tuesday, Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi accused the Brazilian police of cruelty as their World Cup qualifying match against Brazil was postponed by thirty minutes.

During the national anthems, a brawl broke out between Brazilian and Argentinean supporters behind one of the goals, which prompted police to charge at the visiting team brandishing nightsticks.

As other spectators fled the brawl onto the pitch in fear, some Argentina supporters retaliated by tearing up and throwing seats at the police.

Before being carried off the stadium on a stretcher, one Argentina supporter lay on the field with his face covered in blood.

After leaving the field and heading back to the dressing room, Messi and the Argentina squad went over to the terraces in an attempt to diffuse the tension.

We watched how they were hitting people, so it was horrible. In a televised interview from pitchside, Messi claimed that the police were repressing the people with nightsticks again like they had done in the Libertadores final. There were players who had families over there.

The best approach to defuse the situation was to head to the locker room; otherwise, a tragic outcome might have occurred.

“You think about the families, the people who are there, who don’t know what’s going on and we were more concerned about that than playing a match that, at that point, was of secondary importance.”

The worries were expressed by Brazil captain Marquinhos, who was observed calming things down with Messi and the Argentine players.

“We were worried about the families, women, and children, that we were seeing in panic up there in the stands,” Marquinhos stated to reporters.

“Down on the pitch it was hard for us to understand what was going on, it was a very scary situation.”

Before this month’s Copa Libertadores final between the two teams, there were violent altercations in Rio de Janeiro between supporters of Argentina’s Boca Juniors and Brazil’s Fluminense.

After the action was delayed for a long time and police contained the visiting fans in a pen, the Argentina players ultimately made their way back on Tuesday.

Argentina defeated their closest rivals 1-0 thanks to a headed goal by defender Nicolas Otamendi in the 63rd minute. The victory was celebrated in front of the supporters at the same end of the stadium where the trouble had happened.

Five-time World Cup winners Brazil suffered their third straight loss, with midfielder Joelinton being sent off eighteen minutes from the end.

Credits: Reuters

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