Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov 22 (EFE).- The Rio de Janeiro police and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) held each other responsible for Wednesday’s violent incidents before the South American World Cup 2026 qualifier between Brazil and Argentina at the iconic Maracana stadium.
Argentina beat Brazil 1-0, but not before a fight between the Argentine and Brazilian fans in the south stand of the Maracana delayed the start of the match by 27 minutes.
The CBF claimed in a statement that it had reported all the details regarding the security of the match in advance and did not receive any recommendations.
The police said that they only learned last week on Thursday that fans of the two teams would share the stands and would not be separated.
Trouble began when the anthems were being played, prompting a police action against the visiting fans.
Argentine players tried to intervene to calm things down, but being unsuccessful in doing so, they returned to their locker room only to be back on the field after the situation could be brought under control.
As a result of the clash, two fans had to be hospitalized with head bruises, and eight Argentines, accused of having provoked the incidents, were arrested.
The military police of Rio de Janeiro stated in a statement that they were only informed on Thursday that the fans of the two teams would share stands when the tickets had already been sold out, so there was no time to prevent this situation.
“Security of the stands was in charge of a specialized company hired by the CBF. Following its own protocols, the CBF took the decision to release the sale of tickets without quota criteria for fans from both countries and, more seriously, not to delimit spaces in the stands for each fan,” the statement noted.
The organization also alleged that it only intervened to quell riots in the stands when the situation got out of the control of the private security agents.
The CBF clarified that according to FIFA rules in matches involving national teams, there could not be any division in the stands for fans, a fact that “was always known to the police and other public authorities.”
It also stated that the security plan was prepared bearing this in mind and considering the match as risky with rival fans sharing the stands, and therefore 1,050 private agents and 700 police officers were mobilized to guarantee the safety of the match. EFE