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The World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina was delayed by half an hour on Tuesday after a violent incident at Maracana Stadium. Fans from both sides started fighting during the playing of the national anthems, causing the Brazilian police to charge at them. The visiting contingent responded by ripping up seats and throwing them at the officers, prompting panic among fans near the trouble. At least one fan was injured and taken from the stadium on a stretcher.

The Argentina team, led by captain Lionel Messi, tried to calm down the situation by going over to the terraces before leaving the pitch and returning to their dressing room. The match between South America’s fiercest footballing rivals eventually started after a delay of about 30 minutes, with Brazil hoping their fans would help them get their campaign back on track after losing successive qualifiers for the first time in their history.

Reporting: Fernando Kallas

Writing: Nick Mulvenney

Editing: Jacqueline Wong and Stephen Coates

By Editor

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