Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor Marcelo Crivella has confirmed that the government has completed its plans to resume soccer’s activity in the city. Training sessions can restart in June, while teams will be able to play behind closed doors in July.
“We’re not going to ease the social distancing measures. On Saturday we had a meeting in which we decided that we have to wait a little longer for soccer’s return. The sector expected to resume activities this week, but we asked them to wait until June and they accepted,” said the Mayor.
In addition, Crivella said that the Government will carry out an analysis of the infection rate curve in Rio in mid-June, and that an official announcement will be made according to the results of the study.
Although the Mayor said during the press conference that both Botafogo and Fluminense had accepted the terms of the return, the latter issued an official statement denying such thing: “Fluminense wants to report that we had no contact with him, neither to discuss the meeting nor for any other subject.”
Botafogo’s member of the football management committee, Carlos Augusto Montenegro, said that he did talk to Crivella and that he accepted the terms.
The return of soccer in Brazil gives hope to those teams that have lost millions since the activity was suspended in March. The organizations explored different options to mitigate the economic damage, including reducing the wages of players and coaching staff.
Since the start of the pandemic, Brazilian teams have lost sponsors, such as the bookmaker Marjosports, which has reached an agreement with Corinthians’ marketing team to suspend payments from April until the team starts playing again. Corinthians lost four sponsors in less than three months, while Marjosports suspended its agreement with Goiás in March.