The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, announced last Friday the return of the public to the football stadiums on the 4th, with the match between Flamengo and Athletico-PR – scheduled for Maracanã. However, such a speech by the politician is not enough for the idea to be put into practice. There remain conversations, meetings between different bodies and a series of adjustments to current rules so that the fan, in short, resumes his place in the stands.
Crivella’s statement even surprised participants at last Friday’s meeting (18) where the agenda was debated. After the meeting, a new round of talks was scheduled for next week. The idea is now to include, in addition to the Municipal Health and Health Surveillance Secretariat, the Military Police, the Fire Department, companies that manage the train and bus lines and are responsible for all the logistics involved in a match. Only then, the Football Federation of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Ferj) and clubs involved in the idea will finalize the protocol idealized for the return.
Silence and caution: CBF does not believe around the 4th
Such protocol will be submitted to CBF. Still officially silent, the confederation awaits a position from the Ministry of Health after sending a proposal for a gradual return of the public to the stadiums before moving on to the matter.
As well as in the document sent to Brasília, the organization shows caution and does not believe in a return as early as October 4, with Flamengo’s game at Maracanã. In the view of directors of the entity, it would take at least another month of debates and agreements with the public authorities of all states involved in the Brazilian Championship until the idea was implemented.
With the approval of the Ministry of Health in hand, the confederation will talk to clubs to change rule number one of the technical guideline of the Brazilian Championship, the document that governs the tournament. “The measures set out here take into account that the resumption of football will take place without an audience. Any changes in this framework will be duly communicated and this document will be adjusted if necessary”.
It is precisely from this document that CBF’s argument in the face of Crivella’s statement is sustained, as found by UOL Esporte. The confederation defends that any decision related to its championship needs to respect the directive in force – or later alteration, scenario conditioned to conversations with clubs.
Clubs bothered by conversations in Rio
As the CBF did not voice this thought, many clubs expressed dissatisfaction with the possibility of an early return on October 4. In the view of teams like Corinthians, Palmeiras, Atlético-MG and Grêmio, it would be unacceptable to have the public return in just one unit of the federation involved in the Brazilian, breaking the isonomy of the dispute.
At least two senior CBF leaders assured the report that they do not work with the idea of resuming in a state while others do not yet have guarantees from the public authorities to do so. Even so, those responsible for the tournament in the confederation do not consider the presence of a public already in Flamengo x Athletico-PR a reasonable option.
In view of this, the stake of those involved is that the fans’ wait exceeds two weeks – the initial idea of Rio’s city hall and federation.
Initial agreement provided for public in November
In addition to the possible breach of isonomy, another fact bothered clubs that question the accelerated conversations in Rio de Janeiro. For many of them, Flamengo broke an agreement made at the beginning of the Brazilian. In conversations and virtual meetings, managers of the 20 teams in the A series planned to request a debate so that the public could return to the stadiums in November, when the first to the second rounds were turned.
The anticipation of the debate in the state capital irritated club leaders in São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais and Ceará.
Despite CBF’s disagreements and caution at the moment, the parties involved believe in a return soon. The general expectation is of public in the stadiums still in 2020. However, the words of Mayor Marcelo Crivella are not enough. Agreements and understandings are lacking in all cities that receive matches from the Brazilian – São Paulo, Santos, Bragança Paulista, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Goiânia, Recife and Fortaleza.