The incidents that transpired on Sunday 5th September would remain in the history books for life. Every match between South-American giants, Brazil and Argentina is always bound to throw up controversies but mostly on the pitch.
When Brazil defeated Argentina at the semi-finals of the 2019 Copa America tournament, Messi launched a tirade against CONMEBOL that ended up in him being fined and suspended. In the build-up to the 2021 Copa America final between both countries, Richarlison started a war of words with the Argentines. However, on Sunday, the rivalry took on a different form as the Brazilian health authorities, ANVISA, both football associations, and the regional governing body, became involved in the rivalry. These are the roles they all played in the ensuing conflict.
ANVISA: They are the main protagonists in this conflict. The Brazilian Health authorities in charge of the Covid-19 outbreak were in the centre of the storm as they carried out the initial check of the players. Even though raising flags earlier led to a lengthy discussion between the Argentine team, the affected footballers and the Argentine FA. The peak of the issue was also caused by ANVISA as they stormed to the pitch to detain the affected players while the match had started.
CONMEBOL: Even though the regional governing body was not directly involved in the incidents before and after the day, the body could have worked to avert the situation. Being the regional body, better coordination between both football associations and the health authorities could have resolved the issues before escalation. Under President Alejandro Dominguez, CONMEBOL has been mired in scandals and this is one of the many.
CBF: The Brazilian Football Confederation is the body that oversees all football activities within Brazil. Even though the crisis is largely health-related, the CBF should have intervened before the match started. Also, the CBF could have worked with ANVISA to stop the officials from entering the pitch. The organisation and control by Brazil's football governing body left a lot to answer for.
AFA: The Argentine Football Association is the most culpable of all the bodies in the events of Sunday. The body should have refused the joining up of Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, Giovanni Lo Celso and Christian Romero with the Argentine squad. The AFA should have also stopped the players from taking part in the game after the players presence raised suspicion with ANVISA. The AFA could have nipped the crisis in the bud but they didn't.