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Brazil, Argentina fined for fan brawl before World Cup qualifier

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ZURICH (AP) — The Brazilian and Argentine soccer federations were both fined by FIFA on Wednesday for a brawl between rival fans ahead of their World Cup qualifying game in November.

The FIFA disciplinary panel fined Brazil 50,000 Swiss francs ($59,000) for “failure to ensure that law and order are maintained” in the stadium. Argentina was fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($23,000) for “lack of order or discipline in or around the stadium.”

Argentina also was ordered to spend 50,000 Swiss francs ($59,000) on anti-discrimination education projects because of misconduct by fans at two previous World Cup qualifying games.

Fighting among fans at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro delayed kickoff in the game between Brazil and Argentina by 27 minutes in November.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi led the 2022 World Cup champions off the field until the disorder was controlled.

Argentina returned to win 1-0, giving Brazil its first-ever home loss in World Cup qualifying.

Argentina leads the 10-team South American qualifying group after six matches. Brazil is in sixth place with three losses. The top six teams in the group advance to the first 48-team World Cup, an expanded tournament that will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026.

In separate cases, the Argentine federation was charged for unspecified “discriminatory behavior by supporters” at home qualifying games against Ecuador and Uruguay.

The fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($59,000) is “to be invested in a plan against discrimination,” said FIFA, which also imposed a suspended fine of the same amount to be activated within six months pending the education program.

Argentina also was ordered to close “at least 50% of the available seats” at a future qualifying game, FIFA said. Argentina next hosts Chile in September.

Similar charges and sanctions were ordered against Chile, Colombia and Uruguay for fan discrimination at World Cup qualifying games. Chile was ordered to spend 80,000 Swiss francs ($94,000) on anti-discrimination education. Fines of 30,000 Swiss francs ($35,000) were imposed on Colombia and Uruguay.

In Africa, Mali was fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($23,000) for fan misconduct at a World Cup qualifying game against Central African Republic for “failure to ensure the safety of the match officials and the players and officials of the visiting team during their stay.”


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