Since the first steps were taken in reopening economic activities, even during the first wave of Covid-19 in Brazil in 2020, the debate about the return of the public to football stadiums and other sports competitions has been repeated. Last week, Flamengo received an injunction before the Supreme Court of Sports Justice (STJD) – an organ not linked to the Brazilian judicial system – authorizing the public’s entry in national competition matches.
In a similar move in favor of returning fans, Ceará, Fortaleza and the Ceará Football Federation (FCF) have drawn up a protocol and sent a request to the state government to allow in the number of fans to fill up to 40% of the stadium’s capacity.
The argument the clubs are using is that those who have been shown to have taken two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine – one in Janssen’s case – or have undergone a PCR lab test certifying no infection within 48 hours, will be in the stands next to the coronavirus.
Football transfers millions of riyals annually, and generates direct and indirect income and jobs for thousands of people across the country. And like many other economic activities, it has been greatly affected by the epidemic and the consequent health restriction measures.
Specifically in the state, the loss of box office revenue is more felt, with Ceará and Fortaleza living one of the most successful phases of their centenary and triumphant history, with consecutive seasons in the Brazilian football elite.
However, economic factors are not the only ones to take into account when discussing the reopening of stadiums to fans. The pandemic has already provided many examples that science-based measures are the safest and most effective way to defeat the virus.
Although the number of deaths due to Covid-19 has decreased, the epidemiological picture remains serious and uncertain. Especially with the delta variant entering Ceará since the end of July. In addition, only last week Brazil reached the mark of 50% of the population who received the first dose of the vaccine. Among those who were fully immunized, the rate is still just over 20%.
Yesterday, the world witnessed the closing of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which was also marked by the absence of the public from the stands. The Olympic organization had to adjust operationally – with a one-year delay – and give up billionaire ticket revenue at a time of high incidence in Japan. The Planet Sports Car was listening to and respecting science. With other competitions it should be no different.
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