Tottenham star Christian Romero left red-faced after embarrassing Argentina u-turn
Tottenham defender Cristian Romero has travelled to South America and back for no reason after Argentina lost their appeal to have his suspension overturned.
The Spurs centre-back was selected by Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni last week despite being banned for both of their matches over the international break. Romero served the first of his two-game suspension in his nation’s 3-0 triumph over Venezuela on Friday, but the Argentine FA remained hopeful his ban would be overturned so he could feature in Wednesday’s clash with Ecuador.
The wasn’t to be the case however, after FIFA upheld the suspension, meaning Romero’s journey was a wasted one. The developments are likely to further irk Tottenham who were left frustrated by Argentina’s decision to call up the defender despite his ban and despite the fact his country had already qualified for the 2022 World Cup.
The fiasco is just the latest in a string of incidents involving Romero and Argentina this season. Back in September, the 23-year-old was one of four Premier League players at the heart of Covid controversy which saw his country’s World Cup qualifier with Brazil abandoned after five minutes.
The extreme measures were taken after Brazilian health officials objected to the participation of the Premier League -based quartet, who had allegedly broken Covid-19 quarantine regulations. Aston Villa pair Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez, and Giovani Lo Celso, now on loan at Villarreal from Tottenham, were the others involved.
Romero, alongside Tottenham team-mates Davinson Sanchez and Lo Celso, then missed two Spurs matches after being forced to train in Croatia in order to avoid having to quarantine upon re-entry to the UK. While FIFA deliberated over appropriate punishment for the Argentine players involved, Romero featured for Argentina during the November international break, but that didn’t go to plan either.
The 23-year-old suffered an injury which saw him sidelined for almost three months of the season. Only two weeks ago, the four players involved in September’s Covid confusion were slapped with a two-game ban by FIFA over their failure to comply with international match protocols.
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