Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) has criticized local police for their actions against his country’s fans following crowd disturbances at a 2026 World Cup qualifier in Brazil.
“This team continues to make history,” Messi wrote on Instagram after the 1-0 victory over Brazil in the sixth round of South American qualifiers at the Maracanã Main Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 22.
“The big win in Maracanã will once again go down in history as a repression against Argentina by Brazil,” Messi said, emphasizing that “this is unacceptable, it’s crazy, and it has to end.”
The high-profile clash between the “two horsemen” of South American soccer was disrupted before kickoff when fans from both teams clashed in the stands, delaying kickoff by 27 minutes.
Fans wearing both jerseys clashed during the national anthem, with some spectators vandalizing and throwing chairs.
Brazilian police were called in to disperse the crowd, wielding batons and hitting spectators, and pictures emerged of fans lying on the ground bleeding.
As the situation escalated, Argentina players, including Messi, left the field and went into the locker room, only to re-emerge a short time later and eventually play the game.
Speaking to local media after the game, Messi said, “We saw how they subdue people. It already happened in the Libertadores final.”
The Maracanã main stadium also hosted the Copa Libertadores final earlier this month, 카지노사이트 which pitted Brazil’s Fluminense against Argentina’s Boca Juniors to determine South America’s strongest club.
On the eve of the final, scuffles broke out on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach between fans of the two teams, and a video went viral on social media showing Brazilian police officers pointing guns at Argentine soccer fans.
“We were more concerned about that than the game,” Messi said, noting that many of the players’ families were in the stands in Argentina.
“I left the field because I didn’t think I could play in that situation, and I thought going back to the locker room would help calm everything down. It could have been a tragedy,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the post-match press conference, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni caused another stir when he alluded to his “living situation”.
“I have to think a lot about what I’m going to do. I need time to think about it,” he said, adding that “this team needs a coach with all the energy possible, a coach in good spirits”.
“It’s not goodbye,” he said, “but I need to think about it because the bar is so high and it’s hard to go further. It’s hard to keep winning,” he said, hinting at a possible departure, but did not answer other questions from reporters, according to the Associated Press.
Scaloni, 45, has been in charge of the Argentine national team since 2018, leading them to the 2021 Copa America and last year’s World Cup in Qatar. Argentina also leads South America in World Cup qualifying. 온라인카지노