Argentina’s Messi blasts Brazil police after violence mars World Cup qualifier – News

The Argentina crew, led by Messi, even went over to the terraces to attempt to calm the state of affairs earlier than the beginning of the match in Rio de Janeiro

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Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and teammates attempt to cease the combat between Brazilian and Argentinian followers earlier than the beginning of the 2026 World Cup qualifier in Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters

By Reuters

Printed: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 10:31 AM

Argentina captain Lionel Messi accused the Brazilian police of brutality as the beginning of their World Cup qualifier towards Brazil was delayed by half an hour after clashes between police and visiting followers at Maracana Stadium on Tuesday.

Brazilian and Argentinian followers began preventing behind one of many objectives in the course of the nationwide anthems, prompting police to cost on the travelling contingent with evening sticks drawn.

Some Argentina followers responded by ripping up and throwing seats on the officers as different followers panicked and got here onto the pitch to flee the preventing.

One Argentina fan lay on the pitch with a bloodied face earlier than being taken from the stadium on a stretcher.

The Argentina crew, led by Messi, went over to the terraces to attempt to calm the state of affairs earlier than leaving the pitch and returning to the dressing room.

“It was dangerous as a result of we noticed how they have been beating folks … The police, because it already occurred within the Libertadores last, have been as soon as once more repressing the folks with evening sticks, there have been gamers who had households over there,” Messi mentioned in a pitchside tv interview.

“We went to the locker room as a result of it was the easiest way to calm every little thing down, it may have resulted in tragedy.

“You consider the households, the people who find themselves there, who do not know what is going on on and we have been extra involved about that than enjoying a match that, at that time, was of secondary significance.”

Brazil captain Marquinhos, who may very well be seen interacting with Messi and the Argentinian gamers as they tried to calm the state of affairs, shared the issues.

“We have been frightened concerning the households, ladies and youngsters, that we have been seeing in panic up there within the stands,” Marquinhos informed reporters.

“Down on the pitch it was onerous for us to know what was happening, it was a really scary state of affairs.”

There have been violent clashes between followers of Argentina’s Boca Juniors and Brazil’s Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro forward of the Copa Libertadores last between the golf equipment this month.

On Tuesday, the Argentina gamers finally returned, after police corralled the visiting followers in a pen and the match began after a prolonged delay.

Argentina received 1-0 with a 63rd-minute headed winner from defender Nicolas Otamendi and celebrated the victory over their fiercest rivals in entrance of their followers on the identical finish of the bottom the place the difficulty had occurred.

It was a 3rd straight defeat for five-times World Cup winners Brazil, who had midfielder Joelinton despatched off 18 minutes from time.

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