Gremio players took the field on Sunday with face masks on as a sign of protest for having to play during the coronavirus pandemic.
No fans were allowed into Gremio Arena for Gremio’s Gaucho state championship match against Sao Luiz, but Renato Portaluppi’s men did wear white face masks as they walked through the tunnel and onto the field.
“This protest by the players makes implicit our support for the championship to be halted – life must take precedence,” Gremio’s director of football, Paulo Luz, said about the situation.
With goals a first-half goal from Pualo Miranda and second-half goals from Thiago Neves and Diego Souza, the hosts edges Sao Luiz 3-2. Gremio players did not wear the white masks during the game.
“The whole world has stopped – shouldn’t Brazilian football stop as well? That’s our message and I hope they listen. We hope that good sense will prevail,” Gremio coach Portaluppi said following the game.
Gremio’s protest comes after various South American clubs are starting to complain about having to play, mostly behind closed doors. On Saturday, River Plate refused to play their Superliga cup bout against Atletico Tucuman, closing the doors to their stadium, leaving league officials and Atletico Tucuman outside without access.
On Thursday, South America’s soccer governing body, CONMEBOL, suspended 2020 Copa Libertadores games through March 21.
More coronavirus connections to soccer:
- Liga MX announces its Clausura 2020 is suspended indefinitely
- Ezequiel Garay amongst five Valencia members to test positive for coronavirus.
- Eastleigh manager rips National League for playing during coronavirus crisis.
- Manchester City’s UEFA ban appeal doubtful as CAS deals with coronavirus
- Report: Liverpool could be crowned Premier League champions if the season is canceled.
- What are the options for the 2019-20 Premier League season? One man with a good idea is Wayne Rooney.
- The Premier League has postponed play through at least April 3. Aston Villa’s chief executive called it “a very good decision” while Jurgen Klopp said we must “protect each other.”
- CONCACAF has suspended play for a month, while UEFA postponed all fixtures next week ahead of a meeting to discuss plans for both club and international European competitions.
- Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is the first Premier League player to test positive for coronavirus.
- Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested posted for coronavirus and the players and staff at the club are self-isolating.
- MLS announced its 2020 season is suspended for at least 30 days.
- Serie A is considering alternative ways to conclude its scudetto and relegation races, including playoffs or the non-awarding of a champion.
- Juventus confirm that their defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for coronavirus.