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Brazilian league game suspended moments before kickoff due to COVID-19

One of the opening matches of the 2020 Brazilian league was called off just moments before kickoff on Sunday when 10 Goias players tested positive for COVID-19.

“The game has been delayed,” Goias president Marcelo Almeida told reporters. “Good sense has prevailed.

“What we know is that it was going to be a very difficult, very unpleasant situation in public health terms. It was in no one’s interest that this game take place.”

Players from opponents Sao Paulo, who had travelled 900 km to the city of Goiana, were already on the pitch warming up when the decision was announced.

Sao Paulo said they supported the decision.

Goias said a lab approved by the Brazilian Football Confederation tested the players on Friday as the results from a test carried out 24 earlier were invalid.

The club said 10 people, including eight first team players, returned positive tests when the results came back on Sunday.

The last-minute suspension was another setback during the league’s opening weekend. Three of the opening 10 games had to be postponed because of a fixture congestion caused by the end of the state leagues.

Brazil’s season is split into two, with the state leagues taking place before the national championship.

The first three games in the Serie A kicked off on Saturday and another three will now be played on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, one of the opening third division games also had to be cancelled after 12 Imperatriz players tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their fixture against Treze.

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