Points deduction for Brazil? 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign in jeopardy as FIFA open investigation into Maracana chaos condemned by Argentina captain Lionel Messi


The Selecao faced old adversaries at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. They slipped to a 1-0 reversal, in a game which saw Newcastle midfielder Joelinton sent off, but it was events in the stands which dominated the post-match headlines.

A mass brawl broke out between rival supporters ahead of the game, with local police forces stepping in, and Lionel Messi led his side off the pitch before a ball was kicked – leading to the match being delayed by 30 minutes. Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez also took matters into his own hands as he leapt towards the crowd and slapped a baton from the hand of one of the officers considered to be acting with excessive force.

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