Rio to allow football fans from 4 October

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
An worker sanitizes chairs in a line during a match break between Fluminense and Vasco da Gama as part of 2020 Brasileirao Series A at Maracana Stadium on August 29, 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An worker sanitizes chairs in a line during a match break between Fluminense and Vasco da Gama as part of 2020 Brasileirao Series A at Maracana Stadium on August 29, 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Buda Mendes

Rio de Janeiro on Friday authorized football fans to return to stadiums from 4 October, after a six-month hiatus for the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to batter Brazil.

"Rio city hall announces the return of fans to stadiums," the city said in a statement.

"They will be required to wear protective masks and undergo temperature checks at the entrance. Ticket sales will be online to avoid crowds."

The decision still needs a green light from the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

Rio authorities had initially announced in June they would allow fans back into stadiums from July 10, but quickly backtracked as the pandemic surged.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said the city would allow up to 20,000 fans at the first match, to be played at the legendary Maracana stadium between Flamengo and Athletico Paranaense.

He said he hoped that would help reduce crowds at the city's iconic beaches, where the authorities have struggled to enforce a ban.

"We're going to call on the CBF to make Maracana stadium an alternative to the beach. Today, perhaps the biggest problem Rio faces are the big crowds of people with no masks at the beach," he told journalists.

"We can allow up to 20 000 people. Maybe that will be 20 000 less people at the beach."

The attendance figure, one-third of the venue's capacity, is high compared to what authorities elsewhere in the world have allowed for the first post-lockdown matches with fans - 5 000 in France, 2 500 in Britain, 300 in Germany, for example.

It is on a par with what the NFL's Dallas Cowboys allow at games - but with their stadium only one-fourth full.

Brazil has the second-highest death toll in the pandemic, after the United States, with nearly 136 000 people killed.

Rio de Janeiro state is among the areas hit hardest. If it were a country, it would have the world's second-highest mortality rate from the disease, at 102 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8797 votes
Cricket
11% - 2240 votes
Football
19% - 4026 votes
Athletics
2% - 515 votes
Boxing
1% - 187 votes
Cycling
2% - 488 votes
Golf
5% - 1026 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1772 votes
Tennis
3% - 714 votes
Water sports
1% - 195 votes
American sports
1% - 260 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 656 votes
Vote