RIO DE JANEIRO, May 9 (Xinhua) — Brazil and Argentina must replay their abandoned 2022 World Cup qualifier despite having already secured a place in football’s showpiece tournament, FIFA said on Monday.
The decision followed appeals from both countries’ football associations, according to a statement issued by the sport’s governing body.
The South American rivals had been scheduled to play the qualifier last September but the fixture was suspended less than 10 minutes after kickoff because of alleged COVID-19 rule breaches by Argentina.
Brazil and Argentina finished first and second, respectively, in the South American zone qualifying standings for the World Cup, to be played in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.
Both associations submitted appeals in February after FIFA imposed fines and ruled that the match must be rescheduled.
“After analyzing the submissions of both parties and considering all circumstances of the case, the appeal committee confirmed that the match would be replayed,” FIFA said.
The Zurich-based entity said the committee upheld a 50,000 U.S. dollar fine for both associations because of the abandonment.
But additional fines of 500,000 U.S. dollars and 200,000 U.S. dollars imposed on Brazil and Argentina, respectively, were halved, FIFA added.
Last month, officials in the Australian state of Victoria announced that Brazil and Argentina would meet in a friendly at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in June.
It was not immediately clear if the match could serve as the qualifier or if the teams would have to find another date before the World Cup.