Argentina’s Independiente team traveled to Salvador, Brazil to challenge Bahia in the Copa Sudamericana. But local customs refused to let them enter Brazilian soil, due to positive tests for Covid-19. Several players were held in the airport, deprived of food, for nearly six hours.
Health measures make certain trips restrictive. On behalf of the Copa Sudamericana, the Argentinian team of Independiente will face the Brazilian team of Bahia this Wednesday. The delegation of the Argentine club then went to Salvador on Tuesday but local customs refused to let them enter Brazilian soil. In question, several players and members of the staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
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The Argentine club nevertheless claims to have had permission to travel, provided by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL). The club’s general secretary, Hector Maldonado, has spoken out against the treatment of the Brazilian authorities:
“Everyone was tested on Saturday and the documents were communicated to travel and play the match. We are in constant contact with CONMEBOL. We have taken all the necessary steps but we are not allowed to return to the ground. Brazilian.”
Held for several hours, without food or water
Despite these certificates, the Brazilian authorities refused to allow the Argentinian players to leave the airport. This status quo lasted nearly six hours, during which the players tried to sleep, in difficult conditions, lying on the ground.
The Argentinian team did not receive food or water, causing a stir. A small part of the delegation was able to join the hotel. The holding of the match, scheduled for this night from Tuesday to Wednesday (12:15 a.m., French time), remains uncertain.