Though Brazil recorded over 1,000 Covid-19 deaths on September 30, the final of the Amapá state football championship will go ahead this evening with fans allowed into the stadium. The decision was signed as an exception by mayor of state capital Macapá, Clécio Luís Vieira, who decreed that up to 300 people will be allowed to attend the match between Ypiranga and Santana in the Zerão (Big Zero) stadium, named for being the only football venue in the world to lie directly on the Equator.
The decision of the Macapá municipal administration goes against rules of the Brazilian FA, which still does not allow fans to attend any stadium around the country.
The Amapá State Football Federation ensured that all safety protocols will be respected — such as providing hand sanitizer at the stadium’s entrance, measuring fans’ temperatures, and demanding a 1.5-meter distance between supporters. All players from Ypiranga and Santana will be tested for Covid-19.
Amapá has already confirmed nearly 50,000 coronavirus infections and over 700 deaths. In July, the Federal Government reported that it was the only state in Brazil to show a decrease in Covid-19 cases. Based on these numbers, Mr. Vieira’s decree will kick off the state’s 8th stage of reopening, with the authorization of non-essential activities.
Covid-19 in Latin American football
The Brazilian Report showed that, in Brazil, a total of over 4.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases has not been enough to stop football from returning. And these decisions have consequences: last week, Rio de Janeiro-based club Flamengo got into a pandemic saga after almost forcing a continental match against Ecuadorian side Barcelona to be suspended after seven Flamengo players tested positive for Covid-19.
On the following weekend, with more than 17 players infected, Flamengo was forced to field several junior players for a league match against São Paulo-based club Palmeiras. Again, the match nearly didn’t go ahead, being involved in a tortuous legal imbroglio.
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