Brazil coach Tite feels Argentina showed a lack of respect in the decision-making process that saw four players allegedly breach coronavirus regulations ahead of Sunday’s doomed World Cup qualifier.
The fixture was suspended mid-game due to Argentina’s Premier League players apparently flouting Brazil’s coronavirus restrictions.
Emiliano Martinez, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso started the match, with Brazilian health officials entering the pitch after the game had kicked off. A melee ensued before Argentina left the field and did not return.
Due to the pandemic, Brazil is temporarily restricting entry to travellers from the United Kingdom if they have spent time in the country within the previous two weeks. The Selecao had attempted to call up nine players from the English top flight, but none of those selected travelled as Premier League clubs united in an agreement not to release players.
FIFA has since launched an investigation into the match’s interruption, with disciplinary cases opened against the national associations of both Argentina and Brazil.
While Tite would rather the health officials had not stormed the pitch, he also believes football should not think it is above the law.
Asked what would be the “fair” decision regarding the outcome of the match, he said: “The fair decision is to respect the laws. The fair decision is to put people’s health first. The fair decision is that sport is important but has a scale of importance on which health is higher. The laws are above this [football].
“I wish the game had happened, [but] we need laws, and to respect those laws. Football is not above that. It has to be respected. We’re dealing with lives. It’s about health.
“Coming here and going over laws and circumventing situations … this does not happen. Of course I’d like the game to have happened.
“I cannot judge what happened. I do not know enough to know what was done and at what time it was done. I cannot judge it and I should not judge it.
“But to be above the law, you have to have a little respect. Respect for the entity, for a country, for its people, for a club, for a national team. Calm and respect.”
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