Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso are expected to be fined when they make their eventual return to Tottenham Hotspur following an unprecedented night in Brazil.
The two Spurs players were at the centre of a storm that saw the World Cup Qualifier game between Brazil and Argentina suspended after officials from ANVISA – Brazil’s national health surveillance agency – walked on to the pitch.
ANVISA claimed that the four Premier League players involved in Argentina’s squad – Lo Celso, Romero and Aston Villa’s Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez – had entered the country without declaring that they had arrived from the UK, a country which requires isolation upon arrival in Brazil for 14 days.
Lo Celso, Romero and Martinez started the qualifying match which barely got up and running before the health officials entered the field of play.
The match was eventually suspended and there were question marks over what would happen to the four Premier League players and whether they would be allowed to leave Brazil without isolation.
However, the quartet are believed to have been allowed to leave on a flight back to Argentina with the rest of the squad on Sunday evening.
football.london understands that there was anger within Spurs that Lo Celso and summer signing Romero made the trip in the first place, which has now been exacerbated by the events in Brazil.
Premier League clubs had unanimously decided not to release players for international matches played in red list countries due to FIFA’s current position not to extend its temporary release exception for players required to quarantine on their return from international duty.
In line with that, Spurs did not give permission for their duo to travel but Romero and Lo Celso decided to accept their call-ups.
As well as pressure from national FAs there would also have been the potential backlash within Argentina of declining to play in a huge World Cup qualifying match against Brazil.
The duo and Davinson Sanchez are now expected be fined for their decision to go against club wishes.
At this moment, confusion remains over the return of the pair with suggestions that an agreement had then been hastily made for the Premier League players to play the first two matches of the three before returning, but Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni appeared to be muddy those waters in his press conference this week.
If they do now return, then Romero will have travelled across the world to play just a few minutes against Brazil while Lo Celso played 62 minutes in the win at Venezuela on Friday before starting against Brazil.
Another Spurs player who has been in action in South America, Sanchez, is also expected to be fined and he will head to Croatia to spend 10 days training before returning to the UK, bypassing the need to isolate in a government-designated hotel in England.
The Colombian had a tough night as his country drew 1-1 in Paraguay, with Sanchez finding himself nutmegged in the build-up to Antonio Sanabria’s goal for the hosts.
Should all three players begin their return now, they will miss both Spurs’ Premier League match at Crystal Palace and the Europa Conference League group game at Rennes before returning just ahead of the derby against Chelsea.
Following the events in Brazil, the Argentina management claim they were never been informed that the four players could not be involved.
“I come so that our country finds out what has happened. It makes me very sad. I am not looking for any culprit. If something happened or did not happen, it was not the time to make that intervention,” said Scaloni.
“It should have been a party for everyone, to enjoy the best players in the world. I would like the people of Argentina to understand that as a coach I have to defend my players.
“At no time were we notified that they couldn’t play the match. We wanted to play the match, the Brazilian footballers too.”
Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentinean FA, added: “What happened today is unfortunate for football, it is a very bad image. Four people entered to interrupt the game to make a notification and Conmebol asked the players to go to the locker room.
“Here you cannot talk about any lie because there is a sanitary legislation under which all South American tournaments are played. The sanitary authorities of each country approved a protocol that we have been complying to the maximum.”
Source by Football London