Explaining Brazil #120: Brazilian football hits fever pitch, literally

Brazil has rushed its national football championship into a hasty return, and already there are Covid-19 cases popping up all over the league

This week’s episode, “Brazilian football hits fever pitch, literally,” was supported by AMEC, the Brazilian Association of Investors in Capital Markets. AMEC brings together around 60 institutional investors from Brazil and abroad — which have a combined portfolio of over USD 130 billion. AMEC works to support minority shareholders’ rights by fostering governance and stewardship principles that strengthen the market as a whole.

In the middle of the deadliest epidemic in Brazil’s history, recording over 100,000 deaths and 3 million Covid-19 cases, what could the country do to make the spread of the disease even worse?

Imagine you had 60 groups of between 30 and 40 people each, hailing from all over Brazil. Then, they are split into three pools each individual group travels to visit every other group in their pool, with intervals of only three days between meetings. When they do meet, they remain in close physical contact with each other for at least 90 minutes, without wearing a mask.

That sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Well, that’s what’s happening in Brazil right now, with the national football season kicking off, right in the middle of a pandemic.

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On this episode:

  • Tim Vickery is a freelance English football journalist, who has lived in Brazil since 1994. He is the South American football correspondent for BBC Sport, contributing to the corporation’s output online, on TV and radio. Vickery frequently writes for World Soccer, ESPN, and Sports Illustrated and he is also an analyst on SporTV’s main morning program, Redação SporTV.
  • José Roberto Castro is a journalist covering politics and economics. He is finishing a Master’s Degree in Media and Globalization. Previously, he worked at Nexo Jornal and O Estado de S. Paulo before joining The Brazilian Report.

Background reading:

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