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Fans Back at Rio’s Maracana Stadium

INTERNATIONAL: It’s always good to see signs that the pandemic is not going to be with us forever. For the first time in over 18 months, fans of Brazilian teams Flamengo and Gremio were able to watch their teams battle it out at the Brazil Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night.

The fans lapped up their return to the iconic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Much of the past year has seen games worldwide played with no fans in the stands:

"It is an indescribable feeling. It is a huge nostalgia even though the ticket is a bit expensive. The longing to come back is stronger, and we ended up doing some crazy things, adjusting the budget a bit, and in the end, we came to see Flamengo. A year and a half is a long time for those used to going to the stadium. We were looking forward to going back. If the soccer clubs follow health protocols like the ones Flamengo applied, I believe that people will come back."

"After so long closed now we can come back. The last time I came to the stadium was in February 2020. We can come back following the sanitary measures. Many soccer fans were victims of COVID-19, but God willing, we will win."

And they did, with Flamengo scoring two goals in the last 11 minutes of the match to bag a 2-0 win. It’s a night the fans will probably never forget.


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