Brazil friendly game vs. Argentina canceled; Jesus recalled

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s friendly match against rival Argentina scheduled for June in Australia has been canceled.

The game was planned as part of Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup, but Brazilian soccer confederation coordinator Juninho Paulista said Wednesday that their Argentina counterparts made the decision to call it off.

Argentina’s soccer federation did not make public comments on the issue.

Brazil will play friendlies against South Korea and Japan in Asia on June 2 and 6, respectively, and now will seek an African opponent for the June 11 slot.

FIFA ruled on Monday that Brazil and Argentina must still play their World Cup qualifying game that was suspended in September shortly after kickoff when officials entered the field because some of Argentina’s players had violated COVID-19 protocols.

FIFA wants the game to be held this September but neither team has committed to playing.

Coach Tite also announced his squad for the friendlies and brought striker Gabriel Jesus back. The Manchester City striker, who was a starter for the Selecao in the last World Cup, is fighting for a place in Qatar.

The only new name on the list was of 21-year-old Danilo, a Palmeiras defensive midfielder.

Brazil will play Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G at the World Cup, which starts Nov. 21.

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Squad:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Danilo, Alex Sandro (both Juventus), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Alex Telles (Manchester United), Guilherme Arana (Atlético Mineiro), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Éder Militão (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Danilo (Palmeiras), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paquetá (Lyon), Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa)

Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo (both Real Madrid), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Raphinha (Leeds), Matheus Cunha (Atlético Madrid), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

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