FIFA hits four Argentina players with bans


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FIFA has banned four Argentina players from international football following the abandonment of September’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil in Sao Paulo.

The match was called off after Brazilian health officials indicated a breach of COVID-19 protocols.

Aston Villa duo of Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Villarreal’s Giovani Lo Celso were accused of providing false information on their immigration forms and COVID-19 declarations when they entered Brazil.

FIFA immediately launched an investigation and a verdict has now been announced.

The governing body has banned Martinez, Buendia, Romero and Lo Celso for two games. The quartet was charged “for not complying with the FIFA Return to Football International Match Protocol”.

FIFA also ordered the match to be replayed at a location and date to be announced.

Both sides have two games remaining but have already qualified for the finals in Qatar later this year.