Rio de Janeiro city hall issued the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) a BRL 54,000 (USD 10,400) fine after allowing supporters to attend the Copa America final on Saturday at the Maracanã stadium. Brazil lost the match 1-0 to bitter rivals Argentina.
According to the city’s health authorities, the CBF disregarded health protocols established by tournament organizers Conmebol — South America’s football governing body. While the competition was played behind closed doors, 4,400 tickets were made available to Brazil and Argentina fans for the grand finale.
Besides causing crowds in the vicinity of the stadium, Conmebol warned that some would-be spectators had attempted to enter the ground using false Covid-19 test results.
Despite assurances from the Brazilian government that the tournament would be “safe,” health experts found that Copa America brought new coronavirus variants to the country. According to the Health Ministry, 179 individuals — including players, staff, and organizers — tested positive for Covid-19 during the tournament.