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Messi’s Argentina and Brazil ‘face charges’ after violence at World Cup qualifier

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Argentine soccer federation faces charges for violation of FIFA code concerning late kick-off, crowd disturbance

Brazilian police clash with fans of Argentina before the start of the 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualification football match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2023. — AFP
Brazilian police clash with fans of Argentina before the start of the 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualification football match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2023. — AFP 

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has initiated disciplinary action against Argentina and Brazil in response to the crowd disturbances resulting in a delay in the World Cup qualifier match between the two countries at the Maracana Stadium, Brazil earlier this week.

A brawl broke out between Brazil and Argentina fans resulting in police charging the Argentina fans with batons, which then prompted the defending world champions led by their captain Lionel Messi to reach out and calm the volatile situation.

The unrest originated from clashes between rival fans behind one of the goals during the national anthems. Police intervention prompted further reactions from supporters, with some tearing out seats and others seeking refuge on the pitch.

The players, including Messi, Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez, and others, made efforts to de-escalate the situation, leading to a temporary suspension of the match.

Following the scuffle, FIFA has charged the Argentine soccer federation for possible breaches of ‘Articles 17.2 and 14.5’ of the FIFA disciplinary code for crowd disturbance and late kick-off, respectively. 

Meanwhile, the Brazilian federation has been charged for possible violation of Article 17 which relates to ensuring security at the matches, reported India Today.

“FIFA can confirm that its Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) and the Argentinian Football Association (AFA),” the regulatory body said in a statement on Friday.

The match ended with Argentina triumphing over the host side with 1-0 courtesy of Nicolas Otamendi’s header.

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