Match Delayed by Fan-Police Clashes,
The Brazil vs. Argentina World Cup qualifier faced a 30-minute delay due to clashes between fans and police at Maracana Stadium.
Argentina Wins 1-0,
Despite the chaos, Argentina secured a 1-0 victory with Nicolás Otamendi's second-half goal, marking Brazil's first-ever home loss in World Cup qualifying.
Violence Erupts During Anthems,
Altercations began during the national anthems, leading to fights between fans and police, causing panic in the stands and prompting some fans to enter the pitch.
Players Advocate for Calm,
Argentina players, including Lionel Messi, called for calm, with Messi later expressing concern about police actions and mentioning similar incidents in the Copa Libertadores.
Argentina Refuses to Play,
The Argentine team left the field, refusing to play under unsafe conditions, and returned only after a 22-minute pause when the situation was deemed calmer.
Policemen surrounded Argentine fans, and additional security measures were taken on the pitch to prevent further incidents during the match.
All 69,000 tickets were sold for the match, but the violence marred the atmosphere, leading to jeers against Messi from Brazilian fans upon his return to the pitch.
Messi Condemns Violence,
Despite celebrating the victory, Messi took to Instagram to condemn the violence, urging an end to such madness in football stadiums.