Argentina’s victory over Brazil on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, was marred by violence between fans and police.
Le Albiceleste picked up a slim 1-0 victory over age-long rivals Brazil at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
However, the mountainous clash was tarnished before the encounter began, as rival fans started fighting with one another whilst the Brazilian anthem was being played.
Violence between Brazilian police and fans of Argentina
The brawl resulted in a clash between fans and police, with the kick-off for the game delayed by half an hour.
It is still unknown what caused the incident but rival fans were seen involved in a heated battle.
Police from Rio de Janeiro trooped into the stadium to avert the squabble, but they found it hard to cool down the tense atmosphere.
With the incident boiling over, police officers resulted in making use of batons to dounce the tension.
Several fans began throwing seats around the stadium and many fans sustained massive injuries.
Players of Brazil and Argentina tried their best to simmer down the boiling tension and they approached the stands to try and calm the fans down.
Argentina and Aston Villa goalie, Emiliano Martinez, only stoked more fuel into the fire, as he leaped towards the stands and was seemingly trying to grab a baton out of a police officer’s hand.
Martinez was afterward swiftly dragged away from the scene by his teammates and taken away from the barriers.
Following the encounter played at the Maracana stadium, Lionel Messi aired his displeasure at the actions of the Brazilian police.
Lionel Messi on treatment of fans of Argentina and the Brazilian police
Messi said: “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.”
The 36-year-old was referring to the fracas which ensued at the Maracana stadium, before Fluminense’s victory over Boca Junior on Saturday, November 4, 2023.
He said: “We went to the locker room because it was the best way to calm everything down, a tragedy could have happened.”
Argentina at some point refused to return to the field for the commencement of hostilities before CONMEBOL gave them 15 minutes to enter the field.
Lionel Scaloni’s side informed Brazil that they would return after the atmosphere was calm and normalcy had returned.
Anyway, they made their way onto the pitch 22 minutes later and did some warm up which lasted about 3 minutes, before the game finally kicked off.
The encounter also boiled over during the game, with Lionel Messi and Rodrygo involved in some disagreement.
Nicolas Otamendi scored the solitary goal of the encounter in the 63rd minute, helping Argentina secure a slim win over Brazil.
It was truly a horrific encounter, with several fans stunned and shaken by what they had just witnessed.
The Maracana stadium was filled to the brim, with the entire 69,000 tickets for the game completely sold.
Argentina sit at the summit of the 10-man group standings, with 15 points from 6 matches played.
They have lost just 1 game thus far, as they are aiming to qualify to defend their crown in Canada, Mexico, and the United States Of America in 2026.
Brazil currently occupies 6th spot on the log, with 7 points from 6 group matches, winning 2 games, drawing 1, and losing 3.