FIFA has initiated disciplinary action against the football federations of Brazil and Argentina following a brawl that caused a delay in the start of a 2026 World Cup qualifying match.
The match, which Argentina won 1-0, was halted for around 30 minutes due to fighting between rival fans before kickoff at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.
Amidst the chaos, players attempted to calm the fans, but the situation escalated. Argentina’s captain, Lionel Messi, led his team back to the dressing room and returned only after the violence subsided. Police intervened using batons, resulting in injuries among the fans.
“FIFA can confirm that its Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) and the Argentinian Football Association (AFA),” stated the world football’s governing body.
Brazil is facing potential sanctions for breaching FIFA’s disciplinary code related to order and security at matches. Argentina may also be penalized for crowd disturbance and the delayed kickoff.
Possible sanctions include fines and the closure of their stadiums for future international home matches.
Argentina is currently leading the South American World Cup qualifying standings with 15 points from six games, while Brazil’s third defeat in qualifying leaves them in sixth place with seven points from six games.
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