(Reuters) – The FIFA Appeal Committee ruled on Monday that the abandoned World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina must be replayed after considering the appeals filed by the countries’ football associations.
The qualifier in September was suspended just minutes after kickoff when Brazilian health officials invaded the pitch to stop Argentina’s England-based players from playing, saying they had breached the country’s COVID-19 quarantine rules.
Both teams have already qualified for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, with Brazil topping the South American standings and Argentina finishing second.
But soccer’s governing body FIFA had ruled in February that the match must be replayed.
“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 in a statement.
“(It) also upheld the fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,322) that was imposed on both associations as a result of the abandonment.”
FIFA had also fined Brazil’s FA (CBF) and Argentina’s Football Association (AFA) 500,000 Swiss francs and 200,000 Swiss francs, respectively, for their failure to ensure “order and safety”.
However, the Appeal Committee said it had decided to reduce the fine on the CBF by 250,000 Swiss francs while the fine on the AFA had been reduced by 100,000 Swiss francs.
Last month the AFA had said they would take their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Brazil and Argentina are also set to meet in a friendly international at Melbourne Cricket Ground in June.
($1 = 0.9936 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)