The Rio de Janeiro mayor’s office rectified this Saturday the suspension it had previously announced for the Carioca soccer championship and affirmed that the decision is hardly valid for the Fluminense and Botafogo teams, who were opposed to the return.

In a video sent by his adviser, Mayor Marcelo Crivella stated that « basically, the Fluminense and Botafogo parties are suspended, and we ask for everyone’s understanding. »

The advisory added in an email that the decree, published hours earlier in the Official Gazette of the Municipality, will be « republished with adjustments. »

The first version determined the suspension of any sports competition in the city until June 25 to adapt « the health protocols presented by the sports federations to the municipal health protocol. »

The Carioca Championship, the soccer tournament of the state of Rio de Janeiro, became the first South American to return to activity on Thursday after the suspension caused by the covid-19, with the match played by Flamengo, current champion of the Copa Libertadores and the Brazilian league, and Bangu.

On Friday another game of the championship was played, between Portuguesa and Boavista. Both meetings behind closed doors.

However, two of the four largest clubs in Rio de Janeiro, Fluminense and Botafogo, both from the Brazilian Serie A, were opposed to playing again this June due to the coronavirus pandemic and went to court to ask for the suspension at least until July.

The two teams, who had not yet returned to training when the tournament was reprimanded, had their first match next Monday, and another match three days later.

This Saturday, the Rio de Janeiro State Football Federation (Ferj) determined that if Fluminense and Botafogo chose not to play their match, they would be considered lost 3-0.

The return of the Carioca Championship was marked by controversy. The match between Flamengo and Bangu was played in the Maracanã, on whose premises there is one of the field hospitals installed in Rio de Janeiro to care for patients affected by the coronavirus.

Rio de Janeiro is the second Brazilian state most affected by the covid-19 pandemic, with 95,537 confirmed cases and 8,824 deaths, barely surpassed by Sao Paulo, according to the latest official bulletin.

Across Brazil, infections are at 1,067,579 and fatalities are at least 49,976.

prb / mel / lda