Aston Villa's Martinez and Buendia 'jet to Croatia for training' to avoid hotel quarantine in UK after Argentina release

EMILIANO BUENDIA and Emiliano Martinez have been released by Argentina after Sunday night's Covid-19 drama in Brazil.

It is believed the Aston Villa pair will now fly to Croatia where they will train for 10 days to avoid UK hotel quarantine.


Martinez, 29, started between the sticks in his country's World Cup qualifier against their bitter rivals on Sunday.

But the clash soon descended into complete chaos as it was suspended after six minutes when officials, representing Brazil's health regulatory agency Anvisa, ran onto the pitch.

Officials from the body were seen remonstrating with Martinez, as well as Tottenham pair Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero during the chaos, intent to detain and DEPORT the trio along with Buendia, who was not in the matchday squad.

Argentina have no confirmed that the Villa duo have left the squad, but the status of their Spurs counterparts remains unclear.

A statement read: "In agreement with the coach Lionel Scaloni, Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia were authorised to return to their clubs today."

Villa made keeper Martinez and playmaker Buendia, 24, available for Argentina's games first two games of the international break against Venezuela and Brazil. 

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That is despite the Premier League banning stars from travelling to red-list areas to play for their countries, meaning they would have to miss games while quarantining on their return.

Lo Celso and Romero seemingly travelled without Spurs' explicit permission.

The UK is also regarded as a ‘high risk’ country by Brazil, with visitors travelling from the these shores required to quarantine for 14 days.

The four Premier League stars were accused of not adhering to strict Covid regulations after arriving in Brazil with Argentina’s team. 

It is alleged they lied when filling out forms concerning coronavirus protocols when they entered the country, stating they had been in the UK in the 14 days before their arrival in Brazil for their nation’s World Cup qualifiers. 

Argentina’s third qualifier against Bolivia scheduled to take place early on Friday morning UK time. 

Martinez and Buendia were always set to miss that tie, meaning they would only miss this weekend's game with Chelsea while quarantining in a hotel, as per UK rules.

Now it is believed the pair will travel to Croatia – a green list nation – to train in isolation before returning to Birmingham for the Villa's home clash with Everton on Saturday September 18.

They face a grilling on return to Villa Park before the club agrees to release them for the next batch of World Cup qualifiers in October.

Villa maintained a stony silence over the affair – refusing to comment – while they tried to get to the bottom of the fiasco.

But privately the Midlands club are demanding answers over how the Brazil trip backfired so spectacularly and assurances that there will be no such confusion in future.

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