Brazil suspends national competitions, but not state championships

Reuters
FILE PHOTO: Brazilian team announced for friendly matches
FILE PHOTO: Brazilian team announced for friendly matches

(Reuters) - The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) suspended all national soccer competitions on Sunday due to the coronavirus outbreak, but said it was up to local federations to decide whether to halt the state championships currently under way.

The Brazilian Cup, the women’s first and second divisions, and two youth competitions, were halted until further notice, the CBF said.

The main national championships, Series A through D, do not start until May.

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"In relation to the state championships, in respect of their local autonomy, the state football federations, the organising authorities, will have to (decide) on each competition," the CBF said.

The decision came hours after Porto Alegre club Gremio threatened to strike unless football was halted.

The Gremio players and coach took to the field before their Gaucho state championship match against Sao Luiz wearing face masks.

Coach Renato Portaluppi said after the match that if authorities do not act then clubs may have to take matters into their own hands.

"The whole world has stopped, shouldn’t Brazilian football stop as well?" Portaluppi said.

"That’s our message and I hope they listen. We hope that good sense will prevail."


(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Toby Davis)

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