A Brazilian league game between Goias and Sao Paulo had to be called off as 10 of the home side’s players tested positive for coronavirus.
Goias, who finished 10th in the 2019 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, were set to host Sao Paulo for their opening game of the new campaign in Goiania, Brazil, on Sunday.
In the build-up to the match, however, Goias discovered that 10 of their 26 players in the matchday squad tested positive for coronavirus. Manager Ney Franco actually planned to start eight of them.
This discovery came following a fresh round of tests were undertaken in Goias after the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) deemed the original tests on Thursday to be ‘improperly packaged’.
Then the nightmare scenario fell upon Goias less than 24 hours before the fixture. Despite attempts to suspend the game, nobody was certain. In fact, the players even took to the pitch for a warm-up as they neared kick-off before it was finally called off.
Sao Paulo's match vs. Goias today was suspended minutes before kick-off due to 10 Goias players testing positive for COVID-19.
It's the opening weekend of the Brasileirao season. pic.twitter.com/pJ6wV1GUH2
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 9, 2020
Speaking to SporTV, the president of the CBF’s medical commission Jorge Pagura explained: “As soon as it was clear that the results came out, that Goias had 10 players with a positive test, we started to contact the Goias medical department.
“Goias requested, as is its right, to do a counter-test. We awaited the results.
“In order not to lose the game we waited the maximum amount of time. Near the time to make the decision came the result of the 10 positives. At that time, health comes first.”
Club president Marcelo Almeida later revealed in a press conference that Goias only received the results 10 minutes before the game. He added that nine of the initial 10 players tested positive for coronavirus again.
Thankfully, Sao Paulo were understanding and approved of the decision to suspend the game.
Brazil is unfortunately one of the worst-hit nations from the coronavirus pandemic, having seen over three million confirmed cases and over 100,000 deaths.
Feature image credits: Twitter/Goiás Esporte Clube