Brazilian Football Resumes Amid COVID-19 Rising Fatalities

Players of Bangu, in white, and Flamengo, observing a minute of silence for COVID-19 victims in Brazil

Amid rising COVID-19 fatality numbers in the country, Brazilian football resumed full blast on Thursday night, with Flamengo beating Bangu 3-0 at an empty Maracana stadium in the first game of the restarted Rio de Janeiro state championship.

According to Reuters reports, the match marked the return of Brazil’s state leagues, most of which were halted in March as the novel coronavirus spread across the world.

The resumption is taking place after a three-month hiatus due to the pandemic that threw up the forced suspension of sporting activities worldwide, including the highly-anticipated 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

Prior to a Rio de Janeiro soccer league match at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, June 18, 2020, players of Bangu, wearing white uniforms, and Flamengo, observed a minute of silence for the victims of the coronavirus 

Most of the other state championships, which are usually played between January and April before the national leagues take place in the second half of the year, are yet to set dates for resuming their soccer hostilities.

However, the resumption of football in Brazil has continued to raise dust and controversy from some quarters, with two top clubs, Botafogo and Fluminense, insisting that they will not turn up for scheduled games this weekend.

The clubs’ protests came on the heels of frightening reports that another 1,238 people died in Brazil on Thursday from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This figure takes the overall death count in the South American nation to 47,748. Only the United States has recorded more deaths.

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