Coronavirus: Brazil league matches to be played without fans

The CBF decision applies only to Brazil's two biggest cities, but some local federations have announced the same measure for games in several states and Brasilia.

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Representative photo: The move means the Sao Paulo-Santos and Vasco da Gama-Fluminense derbies will be played without fans   -  Getty Images

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said Friday all league matches in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo will be played in empty stadiums until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CBF said it was taking the measure on the advice of the health ministry, whose “express recommendation is to restrict social contact” at football matches.

The move means several crunch matches will be played without fans, including the Sao Paulo-Santos and Vasco da Gama-Fluminense derbies.

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The CBF decision applies only to Brazil's two biggest cities, but some local federations have already announced the same measure for matches in several states and the capital, Brasilia.

Brazil has confirmed 98 coronavirus cases so far, with the largest numbers in Sao Paulo and Rio.

The pandemic has led officials to cancel, postpone or shutter a long list of top sporting events worldwide, including Premier League football, NBA basketball, Formula One racing and the Giro d'Italia.

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