Grêmio 3 x 2 São Luiz-RS took place on March 15, without fans, in the Arena do Grêmio. The following day, football in Rio Grande do Sul was suspended and entered a period of four months with no official matches.
At that time, the pandemic in Brazil still had no deaths – the first death was registered on March 17 (Tuesday). But the contagion wave in Europe and the United States left the country on alert. And the first cases, contracted before football Sunday, were recorded the following week.
The flood of people with symptoms started the count that now exceeds 300 thousand deaths. Grêmio and Internacional played on Thursday (12), the first Gre-Nal in history for the Copa Libertadores. The classic at Arena do Grêmio was the last game with an audience in Rio Grande do Sul – and one of the last in South America.
On Sunday, the gates closed and uncertainty transformed the game with São Luiz. Grêmio players entered the field wearing masks, a scene that now seems common and even appears in regulations, but at the time it was totally new.
In the field, São Luiz opened 2-0 and took the turn in the end. One of the goals of Grêmio was Thiago Neves, who won thanks to Diego Souza in the last minutes. After the match, in a press conference, Renato Portaluppi even threatened to lead a strike in Brazilian football.
“We are not immune. There is no point in closing gates. The crowd is protected and the people who work in football are screwed up? The whole world is stopped. Is that what Brazilian football doesn’t have to stop? People in football have to talk and go on strike ? Do you need to get to that point? “Said the Grêmio coach.
Renato did not have to lead a strike. The federation suspended Gauchão and the clubs, one by one, paralyzed face-to-face activities.
A year later, São Luiz and Grêmio meet again one day after Rio Grande do Sul recorded 414 deaths on Tuesday (30). In total, since the beginning of the pandemic – on the eve of the 2020 game, there are 19,432 deaths by covid-19 in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
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