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Brazilian federal police open investigation into Premier League's Argentine quartet after alleged Covid protocol breach

Brazilian federal police have opened an investigation over allegations four Argentina players breached Covid-19 guidelines that led to the suspension of Sunday’s World Cup match against Brazil.

The match at Corinthians Arena was halted minutes after kick-off when health authorities attempted to reprimand Aston Villa duo Emi Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, as well as Tottenham pair Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Romero.

Officials believe the four players involved provided false information to avoid mandatory quarantine and could therefore be guilty of the crime of misrepresentation.

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Why have Brazilian police opened an investigation?

Under Brazilian national law, foreign travellers from the United Kingdom must complete 14 days' quarantine once they have arrived in the country. 

The Argentine Premier League contingent, however, are said to have only declared that they had been to Caracas, the site of the Albiceleste's last World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, and allegedly did not reveal to immigration and health authorities that they had been in the UK. 

The Brazilian government originally recommended mandatory quarantine and deportation for the four accused players, but they were later cleared to travel to the fixture against Brazil anyway.

However, that did not stop health officials making their dramatic on-pitch intervention to bring the game to a halt.

The players left the country within hours of the game being suspended, but officials say they have given their testimony to police.

What are the potential punishments?

Anyone found guilty of misrepresentation in Brazil could face up to five years in prison and a fine.

Back in England, reports claim Tottenham will fine Lo Celso and Romero for their roles in the incident.

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