Fight at Maracanã Delays the Start of Brazil vs. Argentina by almost Half an Hour

At least eight people were arrested, according to information from the Military Police

A brawl involving fans, police, and security agents delayed the start of the Brazil vs. Argentina match by about half an hour on Tuesday night (21) at Maracanã, during the World Cup qualifiers. The brawl took place in the seats behind one of the goals where the Argentine fans were concentrated. According to the military police, at least eight people were arrested by 10:20 p.m.

Soccer Football - World Cup - South American Qualifiers - Brazil v Argentina - Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - November 21, 2023 Fans clash in the stands with security staff causing a delay to the start of the match REUTERS/Sergio Moraes - REUTERS

The detainees were taken to the Special Criminal Court, Jecrim, at Maracanã. The police have not yet commented on what caused the confusion in the stands. Pieces of chairs were thrown towards both Brazilians and Argentines. Subsequently, security agents and military police moved towards the Argentine fans, who advanced towards areas previously occupied by Brazilians.

The confusion delayed the start of the game, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. The ball only rolled at 9:58 p.m. when the situation was brought under control by the security forces. As soon as the fight began, the Argentine players, led by Messi, tried to intervene to end the conflict but, faced with the insecurity of the situation, decided to leave the field.

The military police stated that the confusion began during the execution of the Argentine anthem. According to the police, at the organization's request, there was no division between the fans, whether they were visitors or local fans sympathetic to Argentina.

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