KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The appeal board of world football federation FIFA has confirmed that the contentious World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina must be replayed.

The original match, in Sao Paulo on September 5 last year, was abandoned after local health officials entered the pitch and objected that several Argentinian players had contravened COVID control restrictions.

Both countries’ federations were later fined by FIFA which also ordered that the match be replayed even though the outcome would not affect the qualification of both national teams for the finals in Qatar in November and December.

A FIFA appeals committee statement 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 5 September 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 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 with respect to infringements related to order and security;

to reduce to the amount of CHF 100,000 the fine imposed on the AFA with respect to its failure to comply with its obligations in relation to the preparation of and its participation in the match.

The decisions passed by the Appeal Committee were notified to the parties concerned today.