The commencement of the World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina faced a half-hour delay at Maracana Stadium due to clashes between Brazilian police and visiting fans, prompting Argentina captain Lionel Messi to accuse the authorities of brutality.

Amid the national anthems, skirmishes erupted among Brazilian and Argentine supporters behind one of the goals, prompting police intervention wielding nightsticks.

As chaos unfolded, certain Argentine fans tore up seats and hurled them at the officers, causing panic among spectators as some rushed onto the pitch to avoid the turmoil.

A distressed Argentina fan with a bloodied face required stretcher assistance before the team, led by Messi, attempted to pacify the situation by approaching the stands before retreating to the dressing room.

In a pitchside interview, Messi condemned the police actions, citing concerns for the safety of families and spectators amid the distressing situation. Brazil captain Marquinhos echoed these concerns, emphasizing the panic among women and children in the stands.

This incident bore a resemblance to previous violent clashes between fans of Argentina's Boca Juniors and Brazil's Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro before the Copa Libertadores final.

After the police contained the situation and corralled the visiting fans, the match eventually resumed with Argentina prevailing 1-0, celebrated in front of their fans despite the earlier disturbances.

Brazil endured their third consecutive defeat, concluding with midfielder Joelinton's expulsion 18 minutes before the match's end.