Brazil has once again rejected FIFA’s order of replaying the Argentina WC qualifier citing the risk of injuries before the tournament.

The original qualifier was nearly a year ago in Sao Paulo and was stopped by local health officials after six minutes due to an alleged breach of COVID-19 protocols by four Argentinian players.

FIFA then fined the footballing bodies of both countries and ordered the match be replayed in September 2022 on a date which is yet to be announced, which did not sit well with either of the boards.

Brazil’s confederation and Argentina’s federation have taken the case to the Court for Arbitration of Sport which is expected to announce a decision later this month.

Tite, Brazil’s manager, does not want to play the match so close to the World Cup due to the risk of injuries, suspensions and a potential boycott by the Argentinians, according to Brazilian confederation president Ednaldo Rodrigues.

Instead, he favours two friendlies in Europe to maintain team chemistry and player fitness ahead of the showpiece event in football.

“We will reach out to FIFA so this match is not played. I will make every effort to answer to the request of our coaching staff,” Rodrigues said in a statement. “Our priority is to win the World Cup in Qatar. If that match is not recommended by the coaching staff of the Selecao, we will work for it not to be played.”

It makes little sense for either of the two countries to play the abandoned WC qualifier as both Brazil and Argentina are guaranteed a spot in Qatar. 

Brazil has been placed in Group G with Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon while Argentina is in Group C with Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia.

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