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Argentina and Brazil Charged by FIFA after Fan Violence Delays World Cup Qualifying Game at Maracana

November 24, 2023

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA opened disciplinary cases against Argentina and Brazil on Friday after fan violence at the Maracana Stadium delayed the start of a World Cup qualifying game.

The Argentine soccer federation was charged with crowd disturbances and the late kick off at Tuesday’s game in Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian federation was charged with failures of managing security at a game it organized, FIFA said.

Fights among fans broke out after the national anthems. The teams were led back to the locker rooms and the game started 27 minutes late.

“There was family of the players (there). We were more worried about that than playing the match,” Argentina captain Lionel Messi said.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi leaves the field after a fight between Brazilian and Argentinian fans broke out in the stands prior to a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

Argentina won the game 1-0.

FIFA gave no timetable to judge the case and impose sanctions.

The teams’ next World Cup qualifying games are in September. Brazil hosts Ecuador and Argentina hosts Chile.

Brazil and Argentina could next meet at the 2024 Copa America, a tournament that will be played in the United States from June 20 to July 14.

A woman tries to protect children after a fight between Brazilian and Argentina fans at the stands prior to a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Players of Argentina try to calm the crowd after a fight between Brazilian and Argentinian fans broke out in the stands prior to a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

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