Thursday June 20, 2024

Brazil halts top football league as flooding death toll rises

Published : 16 May 2024, 11:33

  DF News Desk
Rescue team members transfer equipment and medicine from a flooded hospital in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, May 10, 2024. Photo: Xinhua by Lucio Tavora.

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has postponed the next two rounds of the country's top league due to severe floods, reported Xinhua.

In a statement issued late on Wednesday, the CBF said it accepted a request from 15 of the top flight's 20 clubs to pause the season.

"We cannot forget that sport and society walk hand in hand, and cannot separate in such a difficult moment for the Brazilian people," the statement read.

The suspension does not apply to other competitions and will be lifted on May 28, conditions permitting, it added.

The announcement came as relief efforts continued in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, much of which remains under water.

Earlier on Wednesday, the authorities said the death toll had risen to 149 while 108 people were missing and more than 600,000 displaced.

The floods, which have been described as Brazil's worst in 80 years, were caused by heavy rain that started on April 29, leading to widespread landslides and the collapse of a hydroelectric dam.

Rio Grande do Sul is home to three first division clubs: Gremio, Internacional and Juventude.

The CBF had already agreed to call off matches in the state, which borders Uruguay and Argentina, for at least 20 days.