May 28, 2024

Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was seen trying to knock a police officer’s baton out of his hand amidst disorder in the crowd before the crucial World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Brazil. Despite efforts by players to ease the situation, the game was delayed by nearly half an hour due to clashes between fans and police at the Maracana on Tuesday night.

After the match finally kicked off, the reigning world champions aimed to hand Brazil their first-ever defeat in a World Cup qualifier on home soil – a feat they accomplished. In the 63rd minute, Nicolas Otamendi scored a header against the run of play, connecting with Giovani Lo Celso’s delivery in the Brazil penalty box and beating Alisson.

FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Crowd violence delays start of Argentina vs Brazil,  bloodied fan stretchered off - India Today

Fernando Diniz’s team attempted to respond, but their efforts were in vain. Tempers flared on the pitch when Joelinton, who came on for Gabriel Magalhaes in the 72nd minute, was shown a red card for an off-the-ball shove on Rodrigo De Paul. However, Argentina’s historic victory over their South American rivals was overshadowed by pre-match crowd trouble.

Disruptions occurred during the national anthems, leading to police charging at visiting fans to restore order. Shocking scenes unfolded as police were observed beating fans with batons. In response, Argentina supporters tore up seats and threw them at the police.

As tensions escalated, the Argentina team, accompanied by Brazil’s Marquinhos, approached the stands in an effort to calm the situation. Martínez, appalled by the brutality, attempted to climb into the stands to assist his compatriots.

Clearly incensed, the 31-year-old goalkeeper also tried to confront a police officer wielding a baton towards the Argentine fans, vehemently pointing and shouting at a specific officer. Pitch-side security and Martínez’s international teammates intervened, leading him away from the scene of anger and chaos.

Under the leadership of captain Lionel Messi, the Argentina team left the field. Brazil’s players remained to help defuse tensions, reportedly requesting a 15-minute delay to ensure health and safety measures were met in Rio de Janeiro before resuming the game. They re-emerged from the tunnel after spending over 20 minutes in the dressing room, once order had been restored in the crowd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *