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Brazil: Rio de Janeiro suspends state league three days after restart

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

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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, Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at Maracana Stadium in the first professional football match in South America in nearly three months. The game marked the return of Brazil's state leagues, but at a field hospital near a stadium gate doctors said two COVID-19 patients had died.

So far, Rio state has counted more than 8,500 fatalities from the disease. Brazil officially topped 1 million cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the second-highest total in the world.