Brazilian club have eight starting players test positive 10 minutes before kick-off


Goias had their opening game of the Campeonato Brasileiro season against Sao Paulo postponed after 10 of the club's players, eight of them starters, tested positive for COVID-19.

In the hours leading up to kick-off on Sunday, Goias announced they had only that day been informed 10 of their 26-man squad had returned a positive result and eight of those were set to feature in the starting line-up.

Tests carried out on Thursday were deemed invalid by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) due to being "improperly packaged", the club said.

After receiving the results from a new round of testing undertaken on Friday less than 24 hours before kick-off, Goias sought to have the game suspended.

Players took to the field to warm-up as it remained unclear whether the match would go ahead, but a decision was taken just before the scheduled kick-off at 16:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

The president of the CBF's medical commission Jorge Pagura told SporTV: "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."

Results of the counter-tests carried out by Goias were only received 10 minutes before kick-off and nine of the initial group of 10 were positive again, club president Marcelo Almeida told a news conference.

Sao Paulo approved of the decision not to go ahead with the game.

"Sao Paulo expresses its support and informs that it is in agreement with the decision to postpone the game this Sunday, in Goiania," the club posted on Twitter.

"There is nothing more important, at this time, than preserving health and reflecting to society the important of taking care."

Brazil has seen over three million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 100,000 deaths as a result of the virus.

Source Omnisport