Clubs in Rio de Janeiro approve a sanitary protocol for the Carioca Championship

The clubs of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro they approved this Saturday the sanitary protocol for resume the Carioca Championship, the regional tournament that was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, which accounts for almost 645,000 infections in Brazil and more than 35,000 deaths.

In a virtual meeting of the Arbitration Council of the Rio de Janeiro State Football Federation, with the participation of the first division clubs of the regional tournament, the “Safe Game” protocol was approved, despite the the contrary position of Fluminense and Botafogo, two of the “big” teams.

The Flamengo, latest champion of the Brazilian League and the Copa Libertadores, and Vasco da Gama, the other two of the elite of Rio de Janeiro football, received the support of the rest of the teams from the state to approve the regulations that will come into force, although a date to resume the tournament has not yet been defined.

Fluminense and Botafogo consider that the return of football can only occur in a scenario with a controlled pandemic and with a decreasing level of cases, as happened in Europe with the leagues that are resuming their activities.

The state of Rio de Janeiro is the second most affected in the country, behind Sao Paulo, with 64,533 confirmed cases and 6,639 deaths. Despite the nationwide escalation of COVID-19, Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel announced on Friday the easing of quarantines and social isolation with the authorization of the gradual return of some non-essential activities, such as beaches, bars, restaurants and soccer.

The protocol, endorsed by the clubs' medical and administrative commissions, will be delivered to Witzel on Monday for the regulation to be promulgated by the authorities. and then the Refereeing Council will meet again to define dates for the return of football still without an audience in the stadiums.

Among the approved points They are that the teams will not have more than forty people for the matches and that all those involved in the shows, such as the press and stadium employees, must undergo examinations and, in case of suspected virus, clinical tests. All people must be in the stadium with a maximum limit of one hour before the start of the match and the reserve bank will be limited to eight substitute players and five members of the coaching staff.

The protocol also guides the majority of matches to be played in the Maracanã (Flamengo and Fluminense), Sao Januario (Vasco da Gama) and Engenhao (Botafogo) stadiums, that they have better facilities to facilitate sanitary control. Parties in other settings, mainly from cities in the interior of the state, will only be allowed with the approval of the sanitary norms required in the protocol.

Other Brazilian states are also managing the mechanisms to complete their regional tournaments., which were disputed throughout the country when the isolation measures for the coronavirus began, and which are the prelude to the Brazilian League, originally scheduled for May and which also has no date.