Brazil vs Argentina in Australia: Why are they playing outside of South America?

Brazil will face Argentina in Australia on June 11 as part of this year’s ‘Superclasico’.

The Victorian government have confirmed the match will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

These two nations had a World Cup qualifier called off in September 2021 but this match will not replace that fixture.  

Why are Brazil playing Argentina in Australia? 

After long lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne are looking to rebuild their status as a home for sport and recently broke crowd records with the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

With the rights to this match up for grabs, the state managed to convince organisers to bring it Down Under.  

“A lot of hard work by Visit Victoria. Lots of discussions with the international promoter, who also had to talk to the nationals teams,” Victorian Sports Minister Martin Pakula told 3AW

“Obviously with the World Cup coming up in Qatar in November their preparations are very important so they have to be satisfied that a match here in Australia was a good idea as a lead-up match.

“We made our pitch and got them over the line. These things are always very competitive.”

Argentina aren’t so thrilled with the choice of venue, however, considering they’ll face Italy at Wembley on June 1 as part of Finalissima and may yet push for a change of location. 

Brazil, meanwhile, are scheduled to play matches in Japan and Singapore in early June ensuring much kinder travel times.  

Why was Brazil vs Argentina postponed?

There were wild scenes when these two sides were supposed to play each other in September last year. 

Just six minutes after the World Cup qualifier began in Sao Paulo, Brazilian health officials stormed onto the pitch after discovering some Argentina players had breached COVID-19 rules when they entered the country. 

After a long delay, the match was officially called off. 

“By decision of the match referee, the match organised by FIFA between Brazil and Argentina for the World Cup Qualifiers is suspended,” a statement from the South American Football Federation read. 

“The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to be followed. These procedures strictly adhere to current regulations.

“The World Cup Qualifiers is a FIFA competition. All decisions concerning its organisation and development are the exclusive power of that institution.”

FIFA ultimately fined both sides with the qualifier now set to be replayed on September 22 in Brazil. 

Both Argentina and Brazil have already booked their place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  

Have Brazil and Argentina played in Australia before?

Brazil and Argentina have actually faced off in Australia, and Melbourne specifically, quite recently. 

On June 9, 2017, the two South American nations faced off at the MCG in the Superclásico de las Américas.

Argentina won the match 1-0 thanks to a goal from Gabriel Mercado with 95,579 fans attending the game. 

Prior to that, Brazil played Australia at the same venue in 2017 and walked away 4-0 winners, while in 2007 Argentina also beat the Socceroos 1-0 at the MCG. 

Which players will be coming to Australia?

Despite nothing being on the line for this match, the Victorian Sports Minister believes big names like Lionel Messi and Neymar could feature.  

“You seek the greatest assurances you can get but at the end of the day there’s always risk of injury and other preparation considerations,” Pakula said. 

“Certainly based on the discussions we’ve had are that players like Neymar and Messi will be here.

“We can’t be 100 per cent certain about that. We’ve been told it’s an important preparation match for them.”

Brazil vs Argentina recent results

Date Result Competition
Nov. 16, 2021 Argentina 0-0 Brazil World Cup qualifier
July 10, 2021 Argentina 1-0 Brazil Copa America
Nov. 15, 2019 Argentina 1-0 Brazil Superclásico de las Américas
July 2, 2019 Brazil 2-0 Argentina Copa America
Oct. 16, 2018 Brazil 1-0 Argentina Superclásico Championship

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