Brazil: Rio de Janeiro suspends state league three days after restart

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella has suspended all professional football matches in the city only three days after play restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Crivella issued a decree on Saturday arguing that time is needed to adapt safety protocols for all teams. The suspension is valid for five days.

On Thursday night, Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at Maracana Stadium in the first professional football match in South America in nearly three months. The game marked the return of Brazil's state leagues, but at a field hospital near a stadium gate doctors said two COVID-19 patients had died.

So far, Rio state has counted more than 8,500 fatalities from the disease. Brazil officially topped 1 million cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the second-highest total in the world.