Premier League

Premier League quartet handed two-match international bans for Covid rule breach

Toby Cudworth
Argentina's game with Brazil was halted
Argentina's game with Brazil was halted / NELSON ALMEIDA/GettyImages

Four Premier League players have been banned for two international matches by FIFA for their role in Argentina's abandoned World Cup qualifier with Brazil in September.

Tottenham duo Giovani Lo Celso (now on loan at Villarreal) and Cristian Romero, as well as Aston Villa pair Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia, were part of a game that was called off after just six minutes following an intervention by government health officials.

At the time of the match Brazil was on the UK's red list, meaning the four players - who ignored strict Premier League rules over travelling - shouldn't have gone to South America in the first place, and should have at the very least quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival. Instead, they travelled from the hotel to the ground.

A FIFA statement read on the sanctions read: "After a thorough investigation of the various factual elements and in light of the applicable regulations, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that the match should be replayed on a date and at a location to be decided by FIFA.

"In addition, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has concluded that the abandonment of the match stemmed from several deficiencies of the parties involved towards their respective responsibilities and/or obligations in connection with the former.

"As such, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has also decided to suspend the Argentinian players Emiliano Buendía, Emiliano Martínez, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero for two matches each for not complying with the FIFA Return to Football International Match Protocol."

FIFA have also ordered Brazil to cough up £300,000 and Argentina £160,000 for the on-field fiasco that followed, while both countries will also need to pay a £40,000 fine for the game being abandoned.