The Brazilian Federal Ministry of Public Affairs has announced the initiation of a preliminary investigation against the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) for a possible crime of “violation of the right to life and health” because it had agreed to accept the Copa America football competition despite the coronavirus pandemic align.
The public prosecutor’s office involved SBT and Disney, owners of the channels ESPN and Fox Sports, which are broadcasting the games, as well as the sponsoring companies: Mastercard, Ambev, Latam, Semp TCL, Diageo, Kwai, Betsson, TeamViewer21 and Betfair22, reports the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
Deputy Prosecutor Carlos Alberto Vilhena, who is a member of the Federal Prosecutor for Civil Rights, has ordered the opening of offices for prosecutors from the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the federal district.
The court thus includes the possible omission of the “duty to prevent behavior contrary to human rights in the context of business activities and the duty to protect against behavior contrary to fundamental rights”.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro announced last week that Brazil would host the Copa America after rejecting Colombia and Argentina to host the competition.
The public prosecutor’s office is of the opinion that the plans presented so far offer no guarantee that a high level of transmission of the coronavirus will be avoided. Therefore, tests are not entirely effective in detecting infection and the virus can be spread even if the carrier is asymptomatic.
Therefore, the celebration of the competition poses a threat to the health of workers: football professionals, technical teams, journalists, television and radio teams, stadium workers and emergency services.
In addition, prosecutors recall that the host cities – Brazil, Cuiabá, Goiania and Rio de Janeiro – have more than 80 percent occupied ICU beds.
Brazil is the second largest country in the world in terms of coronavirus deaths – 474,414 – and the third largest in terms of infections – 16,984,218 – according to the latest official figures. The latest bulletin contains 37,156 infections and 919 deaths in 24 hours.