Coronavirus

Brazilian clubs pushing for risky return to football

Despite no let-up in coronavirus cases around the country, Brazil is looking to resume football. Lower-division sides fear financial collapse

Brazilian clubs pushing for risky return to football
While Flamengo played Bangu, in Maracanã, one Covid-19 patient died in the field hospital just outside of the stadium. Photo: Alexandre Vidal/Flamengo

On June 18, Rio de Janeiro clubs Flamengo and Bangu played the first football match in Brazil since March, when tournaments stopped as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Inside the city’s Maracanã stadium, there was no crowd to be seen. Meanwhile, in the ground’s car park, a coronavirus field hospital is filled with Covid-19 patients — one of whom reportedly died during the game. 

While major European leagues have returned to complete their 2019-2020 seasons after a flattening of their respective coronavirus curves, Brazil is attempting to resume football while case numbers are still rising. Between June 14...

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