Brazil’s World Cup qualifying match against Argentina was delayed due to crowd disturbances, prompting FIFA, the global governing body of football, to initiate disciplinary actions.
The match was halted for 30 minutes after fighting broke out in a stand at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.
Later, Lionel Messi, the captain of Argentina, said that it “could have been a tragedy” and he criticized the police for charging at the fans with batons.
However, the national federations of both teams now could face possible sanctions.
The trouble began during the national anthems before Tuesday’s game.
Some fans tore out seats and threw them at the officers as police charged the crowd, while others spilled out onto the pitch to get away from the trouble.
In an effort to diffuse the tension, players from both teams walked up to the stand. Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper for Aston Villa, was seen attempting to take a baton from a policeman.
After a 30-minute delay, the players were cleared off the field and the match was able to start. Argentina won the game with 1-0.
Fifa confirmed on Friday, “Fifa can confirm that its Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) and the Argentinian Football Association (AFA).”
It further stated that Brazil was under investigation for “possible breaches of article 17” of Fifa’s code of conduct, which addresses security and order at games.
Argentina’s “delayed kick off” and “crowd disturbance” will result in disciplinary action.
Usually, fines or stadium closures for upcoming games are the sanctions for breaking the rules.