Football to return in São Paulo, despite high death numbers

football sao paulo
São Paulo’s Pacaembu Stadium. Photo: Filipe Araújo/Fotos Públicas

São Paulo Governor João Doria told reporters this morning that football will resume in the state, just three days after the state posted a new record of daily coronavirus deaths (1,389). Mr. Doria said his administration accepted the new health protocols drawn up by the State Prosecution Office and the São Paulo Football Federation. 

Researchers from the University of São Paulo showed that the coronavirus infection rate among professional footballers in the state topped 11.7 percent throughout the 2020 season — levels equivalent to those seen among frontline health workers. 

Sporting events have been suspended in São Paulo since March 15, forcing clubs to host their matches in other states. With the pivot from authorities, the regional championship could resume as early as this weekend or the next. 

In the meantime, São Paulo state surpassed 80,000 Covid-19 deaths, with daily records of infections. However, intensive care unit occupancy has dropped

No football in Brasília

The suspension of non-essential activities, such as football, is also under discussion in capital city Brasília. Yesterday, a local court overturned Governor Ibaneis Rocha’s decision to lift restrictions. The city is scheduled to host three high-profile matches between Sunday and Wednesday — all involving São Paulo-based teams, which would now be allowed to play at their home stadia.This morning, however, Justice Humberto Martins of the Superior Court of Justice accepted an appeal from Governor Rocha, once again allowing football matches to be held in the capital this weekend.