Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa stars Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero, Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez are under investigation in Brazil for allegedly breaching quarantine rules, and could face a total of 24 days in isolation as a result.
Many players have been denied an international call-up by their clubs due to quarantine rules, but the Argentinian quartet were given permission to join up with their national teammates last week. However, the controversy does not end there.
Lo Celso, Romero, Buendia and Martinez are now under investigation in Brazil, having been accused of lying on their Covid documentation, according to the Daily Mail.
The quartet supposedly failed to declare that they had been in the United Kingdom in the past 14 days upon arriving in Sao Paulo on Friday. The players instead are alleged to have declared that they had spent time in Argentina and Venezuela over the past fortnight, despite very obviously being involved in Premier League clashes in England.
Brazilian laws state that anyone arriving from the UK or has spent time in the UK in the previous two weeks must undergo a 14-day quarantine in a hotel upon arrival into the country.
If these findings are proven to be true, the four players could face a 14-day quarantine period in a hotel in Brazil, meaning they wouldn't be able to return to England until September 18. On top of that, they'd then have to serve a 10-day isolation period in the UK, ruling them out of action until the end of September.
A spokesman for Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa confirmed that the quartet are under investigation for breaking a criminal law, which could even carry a prison sentence if found to be accurate.
"These players arrived in Brazil on a flight from Caracas. The flight landed in Guarulhos (Sao Paulo). They declared that they had not been in any of the four countries which are restricted for the past 14 days. Anvisa was warned about supposedly false information given by these players.
"After that, Anvisa sent a notification to CIEVS (institution in charge of Covid-19 restrictions in the state of Sao Paulo). We have to clarify that false information given to Brazilian authorities might be infractions of health laws of the country and might be an infraction of our criminal law."
However, Brazilian government sources have suggested that the players will not be forced to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel, but are more likely to pay a fine and leave the country immediately.
Spurs' Lo Celso and Romero initially defied club orders not to join up with their Argentinian teammates during this international break, while Villa allowed their duo to head to South America, on the premise that they would return prior to the final game against Bolivia later in the week.
Source : 90min