Ten members of the Brazilian football team Goias were told on Sunday they had tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing a last-minute game postponement.
The team was scheduled to face off against Sao Paulo FC without fans present as part of the first weekend of play in the Brazilian national football season.
The move to postpone the game was based on a decision by the Superior Sports Court for Football, which was finally accepted by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).
Before the court’s decision was announced, just minutes before the scheduled start time, the two teams were in complete limbo. Sao Paulo FC players had already warmed up on the pitch.
“Ten of our 23 players tested positive. Unfortunately, we only received the results today,” explained Goias president Marcelo Almeida, speaking to the television channel Globo.
According to Brazilian media, eight of the 10 players were regular starters.
Sao Paulo FC said they were in favour of postponing the game, saying on Twitter that “nothing is more important than staying healthy.”
The season kicked off on Saturday, three months behind schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under the new protocol imposed by the CBF, all players are required to be tested less than 72 hours before each game.
Brazil on Saturday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths and three million cases of infection.