The government of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state has suspended football for at least two weeks due to surge in coronavirus infections and deaths. The emergency measure, part of wider restrictions designed to limit the spread of the virus, will begin on March 15 and end on March 30, Xinhua reported.
This weekend’s Sao Paulo state championship matches will go ahead as planned.
“We’ve come to a critical moment, the most critical moment of the pandemic,” Governor Joao Doria said in a video.
“Brazil is collapsing and if we don’t put a brake on the virus, Sao Paulo won’t be any different.”
Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll surpassed 2,000 mark for the second consecutive day on Thursday. According to the country’s health ministry, there have been 11.3 million confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic and over 273,000 deaths.
Brazil’s other major state football leagues – in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul – are continuing as usual despite the worsening pandemic.
On Thursday night, Rio de Janeiro Governor Claudio Castro ruled out the possibility of staging Sao Paulo’s matches in Rio, just hours after saying he would consider the proposal.