The World Cup qualifier between Latin America powerhouses Brazil and Argentina was suspended on Sunday night as the Brazilian Health Authorities stormed onto the pitch to detain Argentina players Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero, both from Tottenham Hotspur, for allegedly breaking Covid-19 protocols. A fourth player, Emiliano Buendia of Aston Villa, was not included in the squad.

Earlier, the four Argentine players from the English Premier League were ordered to quarantine by Brazil’s health agency ahead of the match between the South American rivals.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said in a statement that the game had been “suspended” but did not say whether the match would resume or be replayed.

“By decision of the match referee, the match organized by FIFA between Brazil and Argentina for the qualifiers for the the World Cup is suspended,” it said.

“The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to follow. These procedures adhere strictly to current regulations.”

The intervention came just hours after Brazil’s health authorities said four players in Argentina’s squad based in England should be placed in “immediate quarantine” for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

According to Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), Premier League players Giovani Lo Celso, Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia and Cristian Romero provided “false information” upon their entry to Brazil.

Romero, Lo Celso and Martinez were all in the Argentina starting lineup that kicked off Sunday’s game – triggering the intervention onto the field of officials wearing ANVISA shirts.

The four Premier League players – Lo Celso and Romero play for Tottenham, while Martinez and Buendia play for Aston Villa – were accused of failing to disclose that they had spent time in the United Kingdom in the 14 days prior to their arrival.

“We got to this point because everything that ANVISA directed, from the first moment, was not fulfilled,” ANVISA Director Antonio Barra Torres said on Brazilian television.

“(The four players) were directed to remain isolated while awaiting deportation, but they did not comply. They went to the stadium and they entered the field, in a series of breaches,” the official added.