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Brazil v Argentina match officials suspended for ‘serious errors’

world cup south american qualifiers argentina v brazil
Argentina's Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria remonstrate with referee Andres Cunha

The referee and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) who officiated in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina have been suspended for “serious errors”, the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL said.

An incident in the goalless draw where Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi appeared to elbow Raphinha – which left the Brazilian winger with a bloody mouth – went unpunished and CONMEBOL said the use of his arm amounted to “violent conduct”.

Brazil coach Tite was left fuming and he angrily hit out at what he said was an “inconceivable” decision by the VAR, saying it was “impossible” for VAR not to see Otamendi’s elbow on Raphinha.

“The performance of chief referee Andres Ismael Cunha Soca Vargas and VAR Esteban Daniel Ostojich Vega… were technically analysed… concluding that they committed serious and manifest errors,” CONMEBOL said in a statement.

CONMEBOL added the two officials have been suspended for “an indefinite period”.

The 0-0 draw allowed Argentina to join Brazil in sealing qualification for the World Cup in Qatar next year.

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