Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has asked Brazil and Argentina to replay their abandoned 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier despite having already secured a place in football’s showpiece tournament, to be held in Qatar later this year.
The decision followed appeals from both the countries’ football associations, according to a statement issued by FIFA.
The South American rivals had been scheduled to play the qualifier in September 2021 but the fixture was suspended minutes after kick-off because of alleged Covid-19 rule breaches by the Argentine side.
Brazil and Argentina finished first and second, respectively, in the South American Zone qualifying standings for the FIFA World Cup, to be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.
Both associations had submitted their appeals in February after FIFA imposed hefty fines and ruled that the match must be rescheduled.
“After analysing the submissions of both parties and considering all circumstances of the case, the appeal committee confirmed that the match would be replayed,” FIFA said. The sport’s world governing body also upheld a USD 50,000 fine for both associations because of the abandonment.
However, additional fines of USD 500,000 and 200,000 imposed on Brazil and Argentina, respectively, were halved, FIFA added.
Last month, officials in the Australian state of Victoria announced that Brazil and Argentina would play a friendly at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in June. It was not immediately clear if the match could serve as the qualifier or if the teams would have to find another date before the World Cup.
In a statement late on Monday FIFA said, “The FIFA Appeal Committee has taken decisions on the appeals lodged by the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) and the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) against the decisions issued by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on the abandoned Brazil v. Argentina match in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers on September 5, 2021.
“After analysing the submissions of both parties and considering all circumstances of the case, the Appeal Committee confirmed that the match would be replayed and also upheld the fine of CHF (Swiss Franc) 50,000 that was imposed on both associations as a result of the abandonment.
“With respect to the parties’ deficiencies in terms of their responsibilities and/or obligations in connection with the match, the Appeal Committee decided to reduce to the amount of CHF 250,000 the fine imposed on the CBF (Brazil football federation) with respect to infringements related to order and security; to reduce to the amount of CHF 100,000 the fine imposed on the AFA (Argentina football association) with respect to its failure to comply with its obligations in relation to the preparation of and its participation in the match.”
(Inputs from IANS)