Rio mayor halts Carioca restart but Flamengo play on as Covid-19 deaths mount in Maracana field hospital

June 22 – Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Marcelo Crivella has suspended the local state championship until June 25 after Flamengo defeated Bangu and Portuguesa drew with Boavista in the middle of Brazil’s self-inflicted struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.

For weeks, Brazilian champions Flamengo advocated a quick resumption of the game and they had their way last Thursday when playing Bangu at the Maracana as two patients died in the adjacent Covid-19 field hospital.

On Friday, Portuguesa and Boavista played out a goalless draw with various rules in the medical protocol flaunted: the coaches didn’t wear masks and players were not properly quarantined in the run-up to the match.

At the weekend, the Rio mayor decided enough was enough and suspended the Carioca championship as Brazil passed 50,000 coronavirus fatalities.

With the city decree to suspend matches, Vasco da Gama, who sided with Flamengo to get the ball rolling again, sought to relocate their match with Macae to escape the municipal decree. The town hall then backtracked to allow the games of both Vasco da Gama and Flamengo to proceed before Rio’s state football federation fell in line and rescheduled Botafogo vs Cabofriense, Vasco da Gama vs Macae, Fluminense vs Volta Redonda and Madureira vs Resende, respecting the mayor’s newly imposed suspension. 

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1601542064labto1601542064ofdlr1601542064owedi1601542064sni@o1601542064fni1601542064