Emiliano Martinez manhandles a police officer and tries to SLAP his baton out of his hand to stop him charging into Argentina fans at the Maracana as World Cup qualifier against Brazil erupts into violence

Emiliano Martinez assaulted a police officer who wielded a baton at Argentine fans as Albiceleste’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil was marred by crowd trouble.

A mass brawl broke out in the stands of the Maracana on Tuesday evening ahead of Argentina’s 1-0 win over Brazil when fans and police clashed, forcing kick-off to be delayed by almost 30 minutes.

After Argentina and Brazil fans began fighting during the national anthems, police officers intervened and attacked the visiting supporters in an attempt to restore order, leaving some bloodied.

Amid the shocking scenes, Martinez appeared to leap to the stands to knock a baton out of an officer’s hands before being restrained by his teammates.

A video on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, shows the Aston Villa goalkeeper trying to grab the arm of an officer holding his baton above his head.

Emiliano Martinez assaulted a police officer who wielded a baton at Argentinian fans

Argentina goalkeeper tried to jump into the stands as Brazilian police raided Argentina fans at the Maracana amid crowd trouble

Martinez had to be restrained by his teammates as fights broke out in the stands

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The Aston Villa goalkeeper is pushed back by another police officer, who appears to plead for calm from the Argentine players as they intervene to stop Martinez.

After the match, Lionel Messi launched a scathing attack on Brazilian police, saying:

‘We have seen how [police] it touched people, it already happened in the Libertadores final.

“They were more focused on that than on the game.”

The Ballon d’Or winner referred to the scenes at the Maracana before Fluminense’s victory over Boca Juniors earlier this month.

Argentina initially appeared to refuse to return to the field for kick-off, before CONMEBOL gave them 15 minutes to enter the field.

The reigning world champions insisted they would not return to the pitch until order was restored, and did so after spending more than 20 minutes in the dressing room.

“We went to the dressing room because it was the best way to calm everything down, a tragedy could have happened,” Messi explained.

‘We are a family. We decided to play to calm the situation down.”

During the national anthem, violence broke out between fans of Brazil and Argentina

The confrontation between the two groups of fans quickly degenerated into chaos in the stands

Police officers intervened and attacked the Argentine fans, using batons against them

A number of supporters were left bloodied after the incidents and required medical attention

Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates were taken back to the dressing rooms as the violence delayed kick-off by around 30 minutes

Messi said Argentina had decided to return to the dressing room because they feared for their safety

Nicolas Otamendi’s second-half goal was the difference between the two sides as Argentina consolidated their place at the top of the South American qualifiers with 15 points in six games.

“The truth is that this group continues to achieve historic things again,” Messi said.

“Obviously it was bad at first because we saw them hitting people.

“You think about the family, the people who are there, who don’t know what’s going on and we’re more concerned about that than about playing a match.

Nicolas Otamendi scored the only goal of the match as Argentina silenced the Maracana

The Albiceleste players celebrated in front of their fans at the end of an exciting evening

‘At that moment the match was of secondary importance.

“After that, I think winning this match like this is one of the most important wins this group has had.

“It’s really nice to be able to win here in Brazil, after how strong they have been at home throughout history.”

The defeat was Brazil’s third in a row and the first in a World Cup qualifier on home soil, leaving the Selecao sixth in the standings, eight points behind their rivals and in the last spot that guarantees a place at the 2026 World Cup.


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