Rio mayor suspends games to give teams more time to prepare

The resumption of Brazilian football was dealt a setback when the city’s mayor suspended matches involving Botafogo and Fluminense in order to give the clubs more time to prepare for action.

The Rio de Janeiro state championship became the first of Brazil’s soccer tournaments to restart after a three-month hiatus on Thursday when reigning champions Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0.

However, Fluminense and Botafogo threatened not to play games scheduled for June 22, with Fluminense players saying they needed more time to train, and Botafogo declaring they would only be ready to play in July.

With courts refusing their appeal to postpone the games and the two clubs worried they would lose points by a WO, Mayor Marcelo Crivella took action.

His initial decree suspended all games in the Rio state championship until June 25 but he reversed that position hours later to halt only Botafogo’s match against Cabofriense and Fluminense’s encounter with Volta Redonda.

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