Rio mayor suspends football three days after restart

Flamengo, Bangu players pay a minute's silence for the victims of coronavirus Source: AAP

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella has suspended all professional matches in the city only three days after play resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Crivella issued a decree on Saturday arguing that time is needed to adapt safety protocols for all teams.

The suspension is valid for five days.

On Thursday night, Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at Maracana Stadium in the first professional match in South America in nearly three months.

The game, watched by less than 200 people in Brazil's historic 78,000-seat venue, marked the return of Brazil's state leagues.

Field hospital doctors near a stadium gate said two COVID-19 patients had died.

So far, Rio state has counted more than 8,500 fatalities of the country's almost 50,000 from the virus.

Brazil officially topped 1 million cases of COVID-19 on Friday and health experts predict Brazil's COVID-19 crisis will peak in August.

Source AAP