Nov 22, 2023 at 9:20 AM Update: 2 minutes ago
Lionel Messi is upset by the riots that broke out on Wednesday ahead of the Brazil-Argentina World Cup qualifier. The match in the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro started half an hour later due to the disturbances.
During the anthems, Argentinian and Brazilian fans clashed. Chairs were then thrown at officers who took tough action. A number of supporters were taken away injured.
Messi and his fellow players tried to calm the Argentinian fans. The world champion’s star player was angry afterwards about the actions of the police. “We saw people being beaten with sticks by the police,” he said.
“That was not okay. There were also relatives of players in the stands. We went to the dressing room. That was the best way to restore peace, but this could also have ended in tragedy.”
The Argentinians eventually won 0-1 thanks to a goal from Nicolás Otamendi and gave Brazil its first home defeat ever in World Cup qualifying. “Historic things are happening in this group,” Messi said. “I don’t think that’s the most important thing today, but it was a nice victory.”
Police intervenes severely in riots during Brazil-Argentina cracker
Marquinhos: ‘It was a frightening situation’
Brazilian captain Marquinhos was also concerned about what was happening in the stands. “We were concerned about the families and the women and children in the stands. We saw that the panic was great,” he said. “On the field we didn’t fully realize what was happening, but it was a scary situation.”
Argentina leads the South American World Cup qualifying group with fifteen points from six games. Brazil already suffered its third defeat and is only sixth. The top six qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
🚨🇧🇷🇦🇷 Crazy scenes in the stands at Maracanã between Brazilian police and Argentina fans.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 22, 2023
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Lionel MessiBrazilian national teamArgentine national football teamFootball