Watch: Goalkeeper tries to enter stands as Brazil-Argentina World Cup qualifier erupts in clashes

In a viral social media post, Argentine Emiliano Martinez can be seen trying to intervene and cross the barricade in a bid to calm things down

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 3:07 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Nov 2023, 3:40 PM

Crazy scenes unfolded at a jam-packed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro as clashes between police and visiting fans erupted ahead of a World Cup qualifying fixture between Brazil and Argentina on Tuesday. Reuters claimed that Brazil and Argentina supporters started fighting during the national anthems and as a result, police officials were forced to intervene. The raucous scenes forced the match to be delayed and commence after around half an hour.

In a now-viral social media post, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez can be seen trying to intervene and cross the barricade in a bid to calm things down. A security guard, however, prevented Martinez from entering the stands and Argentina teammates eventually pulled the custodian back.

The Argentina football team, under the leadership of Lionel Messi, reached the terraces and attempted to pacify the crowd before leaving the ground and returning to their dressing room. The Brazilian football team, however, decided to stay on the field during the incident.

"It was bad because we saw how they were beating people ... The police, as it already happened in the Libertadores final, were once again repressing the people with night sticks, there were players who had families over there," Messi said in a pitchside television interview, according to Reuters.

"We went to the locker room because it was the best way to calm everything down, it could have ended in tragedy. You think about the families, the people who are there, who don't know what's going on and we were more concerned about that than playing a match that, at that point, was of secondary importance,” the Argentine World Cup winner added.

Based on an Associated Press report, police had to use batons to separate the warring sections of the crowd present in the stands. Several objects were thrown from both sides and at least one supporter left the venue bleeding from his head, the article claimed.

The qualifying fixture eventually started after the situation was considered to be safe. The match went in favour of the visitors courtesy of a solitary goal scored by Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi.

La Albiceleste currently lead the South American World Cup qualifying standings with 15 points from six games. Meanwhile, the Brazilian football team are placed in sixth position on the points table.

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