On Friday, the São Paulo government formalized permission for the immediate return of the Paulista Championship, but with only night matches, always from 20 o’clock. The Paulista Football Association should soon release the table, with matches already in place this weekend.
Patricia Eileen, Secretary of State for Economic Development, said the schedule has been in place to avoid congestion, as from 8 pm, there are restrictions on circulation and the opening of places like bars and restaurants. According to her, it may have started as of Saturday (after that, Deputy Governor Rodrigo Garcia confirmed that the release was indeed valid for Friday).
In the morning, Governor João Doria confirmed that the government had complied with the new protocols drawn up by the state attorney general’s office and the São Paulo Football Association.
Football has been banned in Sao Paulo since March 15, when the state’s emergency plan to combat the spread of Covid-19 went into effect. Initially, the deadline was March 30th. Then it was extended until April 11.
So far, the first four rounds (out of a total of 12) and the fifth match have been held in the state’s first stage. Following the ban, two matches were transferred to Volta Redonda-RJ: Mirassol 0 x 1 Corinthians, the only fifth-round game ever, and São Bento 1 x 1 Palmeiras, for the third round.
+ See the Paulista championship schedule
Football Association Headquarters in São Paulo – Photo: RODRIGO CORSI / FPF
In recent weeks, the São Paulo Association and the Public Prosecutor’s Office have been working on amendments to protocols to combat the epidemic in football. The deputy suggested, among other measures, that Covid tests be done one hour before each match – a suggestion that São Paulo FC found difficult to implement at first. An alternative suggestion was to hold auditions on Games Day.
Meanwhile, the FPF has drafted a table for the resumption of football, with matches continuing this week. But everything depended on a positive signal from the attorney and the state government.
Another issue raised for discussion is the possibility of referring athletes who violate the stipulated isolation rules to the Sports Court. In this scenario, the episode featuring striker Luis Adriano from Palmeiras took place. Even with a positive result for Covid, he went to a supermarket and ran over someone on his way out. He ended up being fined by the club.
São Paulo is going through the epidemic’s most dangerous moment, with increasing deaths (1299 were recorded on Thursday, the second worst sign) and death records of patients who were unable to reach intensive care units.
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