Brazil announces final cancellation of elite league season in 2020; state leagues decide for themselves

In a statement earlier this week, the Brazilian Confederation of American Football (CBFA) announced that after careful review, the 32 team elite league in Brazil, would remain canceled for the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is now ravaging that country.

The various state leagues, however, are each allowed to open and play to the extent permitted by the government health authorities in the respective states.

The CBFA had announced a conditional cancellation/suspension of the top league last month, leaving the door open for a possible fall season, which is when the Brazilian national league normally plays.

All practice and training is to remain on a remote and individual basis.

The Commission for the Prevention of Injury and Health of Athletes of the CBFA issued the following statement:

CONSIDERING the increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 and deaths in all states of Brazil in the last week (June 1st to 5th, 2020);

CONSIDERING the fears of health professionals across the country regarding the increase in the outbreak in Brazil;

WHEREAS any actions to be implemented must ensure the preservation of the dignity and health of all those involved in the practice of American football in Brazil;

WHEREAS American football is a sport in which physical contact occurs on all plays, whether in the Tackle (Full Pads) or Flag Football modalities;

CONSIDERING the large number of people involved in football training;

CONSIDERING the lack of structure of our sport, in order to achieve the ideal control of contamination of athletes and other professionals involved in the sport;

WHEREAS football games involve more than 100 people working, even in cases of absence of fans, in addition to the possibility of travel between cities, states, regions;

AND CONSIDERING the compromise of the physical preparation of the athletes due to the social distance and the consequences that this condition can generate in the return to sport,


THAT training, whether physical, technical or tactical, shall remain individual, via online platform or remote guidance;

THAT there can be no return of training in groups, normal training and football games, regardless of the recommendations of the local authorities, since the relaxing of the isolation measures implemented in several cities throughout Brazil, resulted, after 15 days, in a substantial increase in the number of registered cases.

Other groups that participated in the decision included the National Association of American Football Referees in Brazil (Anafab), who, in agreement with the CBFA, will avoid participating in events in 2020.

“Thus, we communicate that we will not operate at the national level in the year 2020 and we will analyze together with state federations the possibility of state competitions.”

Brazil Futebol Americano (BFA), organizers of the 32 man league on behalf of the CBFA, have stated that the cancellation will remain in effect:

“We don’t want to put lives at risk and, for this reason, the fourth edition of BFA remains suspended. We will continue the work of monitoring the Brazilian scenario in the face of the pandemic so that we can make the best decisions for American football in our country.”

Coronavirus situation in Brazil

A total of 805,649 cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in Brazil to date with 41,058 deaths attributed to the virus.

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