Argentina boss defends Spurs duo after Covid-19 controversy

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Giovani Lo Celso
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has defended Tottenham duo Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero who were at the centre of attention during their World Cup qualifier against Brazil. 

The match in Sao Paulo was halted after just ten minutes after a number of health officials and police officers stormed the field of play to detain four players who allegedly did not follow the country’s Covid-19 quarantine rules. 

Spurs pair Lo Celso and Romero were part of the four in question, as well as Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia.

The Argentina side have since flown out of Brazil with all four Premier League players involved on the flight, after it was deemed unlikely the clash would resume any time soon.

The Brazilian government states that individuals arriving from the UK are required to undertake a 14-day period of self-isolation, which would not have been completed in time by the British-based quartet.

Argentina boss Scaloni was furious at the decision from officials to storm the game midway and has since defended his players and staff following the controversy, claiming they were not at fault for the incident.

“At no time were we notified that they [Premier League quartet] could not play the match,” Scaloni said after the match was suspended.

“We wanted to play the match, the Brazilian footballers [did] too.

“It should have been a party for everyone to enjoy the best players in the world. I would like the people of Argentina to understand that as a coach, I have to defend my players.

“It makes me very sad, I am not looking for a culprit. If something happened or did not happen, it was not the time to make that intervention.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

The way in which this whole scenario unfolded proved to be completely shambolic, and should have been avoided. It seems a bit strange that the Argentina team were allowed the country perfectly fine for three days before kick-off and then for the authorities to detain the players mid-match.

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