A violent altercation broke out and quickly escalated in one section of the stadium among rival fans, prompting intervention from the stadium’s security as well as local police.
The incident led to Lionel Messi and the Argentina squad walking off the pitch just moments before the scheduled kickoff time.
Members of the Argentinian squad, including Messi, could be seen approaching the area of commotion, even jumping a barrier in order to get closer to the section.
🚨 Lionel Messi and the Argentina team walking towards the Argentina fans that are getting hit by security.pic.twitter.com/l6V7BAneyM— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 22, 2023
At one point, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez could be seen climbing into the stands and making contact with security.
EL DIBU DEFENDIENDO A LOS HINCHAS ARGENTINOS EN MEDIO DE LA REPRESIÓN POLICIAL pic.twitter.com/iEXBISudaW— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) November 22, 2023
Messi then proceeded to lead the Argentina team off the pitch and into the tunnel. The Brazil squad remained on the field.
Messi leads the Argentina team OUT of the Maracanã pitch following the crazy fights in the stands— MC (@CrewsMat10) November 22, 2023
Eventually, the Argentinian side returned to the field and kickoff was able to get underway at around 7:55 p.m. EST.