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Argentina’s Historic Victory Marred by Maracanã Stadium Violence

Defender Nicolas Otamendi secured a historic victory for Argentina with a powerful header in the 63rd minute, marking Brazil’s third consecutive qualifying defeat for the first time in Seleção’s history. However, the match was marred by violence in the stands, causing a delay in the World Cup qualifier.

A clash between fans erupted during the national anthems, prompting Brazilian police to intervene. The heavy-handed approach towards Argentine supporters angered Lionel Messi and the national team. Messi, along with his teammates, appealed for calm at the stand where the violence occurred.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) defended the mixed fan seating arrangement, stating it’s a standard practice in FIFA and CONMEBOL organized matches. The CBF asserted that the security plan, involving 1,050 private security guards and 700 military police officers, was strictly followed.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino condemned the violence, emphasizing the need for safety for all participants in football. Brazil’s state military police reported eight arrests, including a woman for alleged racial abuse.

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CONMEBOL and the Argentine football federation have not yet responded to CNN’s requests for comments on the incident.

Messi, addressing the violence, expressed concern for the well-being of fans and their families, stating that the match became secondary at that point. Despite the challenges, he highlighted the significance of winning in Brazil.

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In an unexpected turn, Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni cast doubt on his position, stating the need to think about his future due to the high expectations. The victory maintains Argentina’s lead in World Cup qualifying, while Brazil, under interim head coach Fernando Diniz, sits in sixth place without a win in four matches.

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