Brazil’s Serie A set for August return post COVID-19 hiatus

Brazil’s Serie A championship will start in early August pending the approval of state and municipal health officials, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has said.

CBF bosses and club representatives have set a tentative target of August 9 to begin the top flight season, which had been due to commence in May before the coronavirus pandemic struck. The Serie B is slated to start on August 8, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The decision was taken on Thursday night in a meeting convened by the CBF together with the National Commission of Clubs with the participation of 40 clubs in the (first) two divisions,” the entity said in a statement.

All but one of the 20 Serie A clubs expressed a willingness to play outside of their cities if local governments did not lift a temporary ban on competitive sport, according to the CBF.

“The return of football will depend on the authorization of health authorities,” it added.

Football in South America’s largest country was halted in mid-March as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Rio de Janeiro’s state championship became the first Brazilian competition to resume when Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at the Maracana stadium on June 18.

However the competition was suspended again because of health and safety concerns.

Brazil has over 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases, more than 55,000 of which have been fatal.

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