Clubs call for suspension of league after floods devastate southern Brazil

May 15 – Brazilian clubs have demanded the suspension of the top flight Serie A following the floods that have hit in state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The group Liga Forte Uniao, which represents the interests of a group of clubs, wants domestic league matches to be postponed following the devastating floods that swept through southern Brazil. Clubs, including Gremio and Internacional, have struggled to maintain operations though teams are still training.

The 11 clubs demanding the suspension are Athletico-PR, Atlético-GO, Botafogo, Criciúma, Cruzeiro, Cuiabá, Fluminense, Fortaleza, Internacional, Juventude and Vasco da Gama.

On Sunday, the Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) called for an extraordinary meeting of the Série A technical council to address the issue. The call was prompted after a demand by the Ministry of Sports.

On the sidelines of last week’s Brazil call-up, CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues was reported by Globo as saying: “Every decision regarding a competition – starting, suspending, extending, postponing – the CBF will discuss jointly with the clubs. The power of the CBF is not a supreme and absolute power. It’s a limited power.

“We respect all segments of the government very much, but the entire construction of Brazilian football is a technical council of clubs, that involves all competitions. The technical council must meet. When defining a competition, the CBF holds technical council meetings for Series A, B, C, D and youth competitions. If a strike is requested, we will inform each club, each series of these clubs, so that they can take a position in relation to the document from the Ministry of Sports. And from there, if necessary, bring together the Technical Council so that they can deliberate over whether they can stop the competition.”

Liga Forte Uniao’s request, if granted, will put a further strain on the Brazilian football calendar with clubs often playing up to 80 matches a year with the league frequently continuing play through FIFA international match window dates.

During this year’s Copa America, Brazilian top clubs will miss their players for several weeks due to international team duty.

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