Points deduction for Brazil? 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign in jeopardy as FIFA open investigation into Maracana chaos condemned by Argentina captain Lionel Messi


Brazil reportedly face the threat of a points deduction following the chaotic scenes that marred their World Cup qualifying defeat to Argentina.

The Selecao faced old adversaries at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. They slipped to a 1-0 reversal, in a game which saw Newcastle midfielder Joelinton sent off, but it was events in the stands which dominated the post-match headlines.

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A mass brawl broke out between rival supporters ahead of the game, with local police forces stepping in, and Lionel Messi led his side off the pitch before a ball was kicked – leading to the match being delayed by 30 minutes.

Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez also took matters in to his own hands as he leapt towards the crowd and slapped a baton from the hand of one of the officers considered to be acting with excessive force.Eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi said afterwards of the unfortunate episode: “We saw how [police] were hitting the people, it already happened in the Libertadores final.

They were more focused on that than on the game. We went to the locker room because it was the best way to calm everything down, a tragedy could have happened.”


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