How the international press reacted to the embarrassment of the Brazil-Argentina match

What happened at the Corinthians stadium was told across the world by the major media outlets. The European kick-off time helped spread the message in a matter of minutes.


Brazil vs Argentina attracts a global audience. Even more so if it comes directly after a Copa America final between the two nations. Unfortunately, however, what happened in Sao Paulo on Sunday was very different to what viewers from across the globe could have ever expected. After five minutes, the Brazilian police and the ANVISA health agency came onto the pitch to remove Argentina players Lo Celso, Cuti Romero and Emi Martinez.

The three, along with Emi Buendía (who was not included in the final squad), play in the Premier League and, despite having the permission of FIFA and CONMEBOL, the ANVISA health authorities took the law into their own hands, believing that they the players should have been in quarantine. The match was called off and the players made their way to the dressing room.

"The great farce"

Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport speaks of "Chaos in Brazil" and highlights Messi's words: "We've been here for three days and they're telling us now?". They continue, "Clamorous spectacle in Sao Paulo", to explain and contextualise the situation, all marked by surprise. They also highlight that "Argentina left the pitch and would not return without them (Romero, Lo Celso and Martínez)". In another big headline, L'Équipe, they follow with a similar line. "Brazil-Argentina suspended, the great farce", the headline ran. "It took a few minutes of total confusion, seeing fifteen suits with their respective ties enter the pitch, to understand what was going on," they add.

Humiliated on a world stage

In The Guardian, they tell us what happened in a more aseptic way, but emphasise some statements, such as those of the Brazilian commentator Galvão Bueno: "We are being humiliated on a world stage. What is happening is deeply regrettable". A Bola also contextualises without making too many value judgements and headlines with "Brazil-Argentina, suspended by the health authorities". In their case, they recall that "after confirmation of the suspension, the players ended up holding a training session".

"Corona chaos"

Finally, The New York Times echoes the suspension of the match and specifies that "the authorities were seeking to deport four Argentine footballers". While in Germany, Bild speaks of "Corona chaos! Scandal as Messi's match is cancelled". "Madness over the coronavirus at South America's biggest match". Just as they explain that "a man with a note in the back pocket of his trousers, with four names on it, predictably, entered the pitch".