Brazilian soccer game goes ahead despite COVID-19 outbreak
SAO PAULO (AP) — A top judge authorized a top-flight Brazilian soccer match to go ahead Sunday despite a risk of COVID-19 contagion among players.
Only minutes before the scheduled kickoff, Brasilia-based labor judge Luiz Philippe Vieira de Mello Filho overturned two injunctions to allow Palmeiras and defending champion Flamengo to play the game in Sao Paulo.
The match ended 1-1 with Flamengo fielding several young players after 20 members of the squad tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
Flamengo had asked the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) to postpone the match, but the soccer soccer body did not agree.
Executives of the Rio de Janeiro-based club Flamengo have been among the keenest supporters of a return to sport in Brazil, siding with President Jair Bolsonaro.
More than 140,000 people are reported to have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, second only to the United States where more than 200,000 deaths have been attributed to the pandemic.
On Saturday, another top-flight Brazilian club said it was in trouble with the virus. Rio-based Fluminense said it had at least five players with COVID-19, a figure that could grow before Monday’s match against Curitiba.
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