March 24th, 2020.
The International Olympic Committee has postponed this year’s Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Tokyo from July 24th to August 9th, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has also declared that the pandemic may have a huge impact on the international soccer calendar, after all major championships worldwide were ground to a halt. The United Kingdom has officially declared a three-week quarantine, in which all citizens will be forbidden to leave their homes except for basic needs such as grocery and drugstore shopping, medical appointments, and such. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta held a press conference addressing the new challenges faced by the country, and the president seized the opportunity to attack governors who decreed quarantine in their states. Finally, a Rio de Janeiro judge overruled her own previous decision and decided to maintain an investigation on alleged malfunding charges against president Bolsonaro’s son, state congressman Flávio Bolsonaro.
Take a look at our highlights.
IOC postpones 2020 Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee has postponed the 2020 Olympic Games, which was scheduled to be held in Tokyo this summer, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic which has affected the preparation of athletes throughout the world. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were to be held between July 24th and August 9th this year. The Committee was considering several scenarios, among them holding the games late this year, in 2021, or 2022. They eventually settled for the postponement and decided to hold the games in the northern-hemisphere summer of 2021.
FIFA president says pandemic may impact international soccer calendar
The novel coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on soccer all over the world. According to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, soccer worldwide has practically ground to a halt, and the situation may get worse. The organization chairman, who turned 50 on Monday, declared during an interview: “There needs to be an evaluation of the global impact. Let’s all together save soccer from a crisis that risks becoming irreversible.” According to him, different formats could be an answer, “with fewer, but more interesting tournaments. Maybe fewer squads, but more balance. Fewer, but more competitive matches to safeguard the health of the players.”
UK enters three-week quarantine
The government of the United Kingdom announced yesterday a three-week quarantine to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 throughout its territory. People will only be allowed to leave their homes in order to shop for groceries, practice physical exercises, go to drugstores or medical appointments, or go to work, if their activities cannot be exercised remotely. British police officers have been given the authority to fine all citizens who disrespect the quarantine, as well as to disperse any crowds. Britain is currently among the top ten countries most affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Bolsonaro and Mandetta hold press conference
Yesterday, at the Planalto Palace, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro held a press conference along with Health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta about the threat posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic to the economy in Brazil. The president announced an ample aid plan to states and municipalities, involving R$ 85.8 billion in federal funds. Bolsonaro, however, took the time to criticize several governors who chose to quarantine their states, such as São Paulo’s João Dória and Rio de Janeiro’s Wilson Witzel: “I have been saying for some time that we should not panic. We want to avoid hysteria, because the economic problem will aggravate the coronavirus issue.” Apparently referring to Witzel, he added: “There was a Brazilian state whose governor was nearly declaring its independence.”
Judge overturns own ruling and allows investigation of president’s son
Rio de Janeiro Justice Court appellate judge Suimei Meira Cavalieri has authorized the Federal Prosecution Office to continue its investigation on the alleged salary-splitting scheme organized by president Jair Bolsonaro’s son, Flávio, while he was a Rio de Janeiro state congressman. The inquiry had been halted after a preliminary ruling issued by judge Cavalieri herself, but due to the suspension of all Justice Court sessions imposed by the coronavirus epidemic, she decided to continue the investigation instead of facing an indefinite suspension of the case.