The future of Brazil’s state championships was called into question again on Sunday by former international striker Fred, who called them a waste of time after being sent off in Fluminense’s 3-0 loss to Flamengo at the Maracana.
Fred was fouled outside the penalty area after 29 minutes and as he fell forward his hand hit the ball. He was inexplicably given a second yellow card to add to an earlier one for pushing and was sent off.
“You have to end the Carioca championship,” he angrily told reporters as he left the field. “It can’t go on. Not with decisions like that. Football in Rio is over. It’s done.”
The controversy comes just days after the presidents of both Flamengo and Fluminense broke with the Rio de Janeiro Football Federation and said they were examining the possibility of a breakaway league in 2016.
Both clubs are angry at the federation for setting what they say are too high ticket prices for this season’s games. They were also upset at a rule — that was later withdrawn — fining any club who criticized the federation.
Other top clubs are questioning the viability of the state championships, which were once highly competitive, but now mostly attract big crowds only to major derbies.
The competitions take place between January and next month and precede the national championship, which runs until December.
Sunday’s result means that Flamengo sit top of the Carioca state championship table, seven points ahead of Fluminense in fifth place.
Botafogo are in second spot after coming back from behind to defeat Madureira 4-1 at the Estadio Nilton Santos.
In the biggest game of the day, Corinthians extended their unbeaten run this season to 22 games with a 1-1 draw against Santos, who are second in the overall table.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very