An analysis safe protocols employed in professional male soccer and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 Brazilian championship

Leonardo José Mataruna-Dos-santos, Pedro da Gama Roberto de Albuquerque, Gabriel de Almeida Vasconcellos, Rodrigo Mendonça Do Nascimento, Nadine Tonelli Cavalari, Daniel Range, Andressa Fontes Guimarães-Mataruna, Bianca Ortiz-Silva

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    The COVID-19 pandemic directly reached and impacted upon elite sports and caused the postponement of sporting events globally. In order to enable the return of activities, protocols were created with recommendations to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The objective of this work is to analyze and compare the safe return protocols of major football leagues and associations to those of the Brazilian Championship, as well as to survey the numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks in clubs that competed in the 2020 Brazilian Championship Series A. The documentary research was carried out through the analysis of articles published on open-source football league and federation websites. National and international return protocols were verified, as well as the documenting of isolated cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Brazilian Championship. In the Brazilian Championship, the return to play occurred at a time when COVID-19 case numbers were rising, a fact that, together with the decentralization of the match cities, was likely linked to the number of positive cases. A total of 302 positive cases of COVID-19 were identified in 14 outbreaks during the competition. Therefore, this work identifies good practice and underscores the need to reassess and refine the protocols to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 going forward.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number13585
    Number of pages16
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
    conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/)


    • Brazilian Championship
    • COVID-19
    • Soccer protocol

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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