Argentina goalkeeper tangles with riot cops as WCQ clash with rivals Brazil delayed by fighting

Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez tangled with riot police as they used batons to break up fights between rival fans that delayed the start of the World Cup qualifier away to Brazil at Maracana Stadium in Rio.

Argentina legend Lionel Messi took his team off the field and the kick off was delayed by half an hour – and tempers were running high on the field when the game got underway.

Argentina players asked those in the stand for calm before heading to the dressing room.

Argentina told their Brazil rivals they would only return to the pitch after the situation was calm.

Before the players departed Martinez – who plays in the Premier League with Aston Villa and was a hero of their World Cup win in 2022 – leapt up the perimeter fence to try to prevent a baton-wielding cop.

Dibu Martinez fighting off the Brazilian police who were attacking Argentina fans ????

— MC (@CrewsMat10) November 22, 2023

Argentina leads South American World Cup qualifying with 12 points in five matches. Brazil is in fifth position. Both teams lost their previous games in the round-robin competition of 10 teams.

???? Lionel Messi and the Argentina team walking towards the Argentina fans that are getting hit by

— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 22, 2023

Absolutely disgusting

— J a a a a a y y y y y (@Kheeng_jay) November 22, 2023

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