Rio de Janeiro (Reuters) – Due to violent altercations between police and visiting fans at Maracana Stadium on Tuesday, the start of the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was postponed for thirty minutes.

When the national anthems were playing, locals and Argentinean supporters got into a fight behind one of the goals, which prompted the Brazilian police to charge toward the visiting team brandishing night sticks.

When other fans panicked and fled onto the pitch to escape the fighting, some Argentina supporters retaliated by tearing up and hurling seats at the police.

Before being carried from the stadium on a stretcher, one Argentina supporter was seen lying prone on the field with his face cut open.

After leaving the field and heading back to the dressing room, the Argentina squad, led by captain Lionel Messi, went over to the fans in an attempt to diffuse the tension.

“We observed how they were striking the people, once more suppressing the people,” Messi stated during a TV interview conducted pitchside.

“It occurred in the Libertadores final already. The only way to defuse the situation was to head to the locker room; else, a tragic outcome might have occurred.”

Before the teams’ Copa Libertadores final earlier this month, there were also violent altercations in Rio de Janeiro between supporters of Brazil’s Fluminense and Argentina’s Boca Juniors.

After the police had gathered the visiting supporters in a pen on Tuesday, the Argentina players ultimately made their way back, and the game finally began after a protracted delay.

Argentina defeated their closest rivals 1-0 thanks to a headed goal by defender Nicolas Otamendi in the 63rd minute. The victory was celebrated in front of the supporters at the same end of the stadium where the trouble had happened.

Tuesday night’s Conmebol World Cup qualifying match between Brazil and Argentina at Maracana Stadium was postp

oned for over thirty minutes due to altercations between Rio de Janeiro police and spectators.

Nicol├ís Otamendi’s goal in the second half gave Argentina the lead and ended Brazil’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup at home with a 1-0 victory. Into the match, Brazil had a 51-13-0 record in 64 such games.

During the playing of the national anthems, there was fighting between locals and Argentinean fans, which prompted the Brazilian police to assault the visiting contingent with batons. In response, spectators threw seats at the officers and tore them apart.

As the fighting got closer, fans in the area were frightened and fled onto the field. At least one fan who was hurt We witnessed the cops beating people, and many of the players had relatives living there. After the game, Messi stated, “We were unable to concentrate on playing the game.” “The Copa Libertadores was where this also occurred. Once more, the Brazilian police are suppressing the populace


Argentina informed their rivals in Brazil that they would not take the field again until everything had calmed down. Twenty-two minutes later, they were back in the changing room, warming up for an additional three minutes before the game began.

“We could not play in those conditions, therefore we made the decision to quit the field. Additionally, we believed that returning to the dressing room would help to diffuse the tension,” Messi continued.

Argentina supporters rejoiced as the game got underway, flanked by dozens of policemen, and faced even greater protection on the field. Around the portion with seating for approximately 3,000 spectators, police gathered.

The match’s 69,000 seats were all sold out. Prior to the fight, Messi was cheered and jeered at by Brazil supporters.

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