Rio de Janeiro to allow some spectators to admit to the Copa America final

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Rio de Janeiro officials will limit participation in the Copa America football final between Brazil and Argentina at the Maracana on Saturday to 6,500 spectators, or 10% of the capacity of the famous stadium, the mayor’s office said on Friday.

Only those invited by the South American football association CONMEBOL are allowed to participate, the mayor’s office said in a statement, and all participants must present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the stadium.

At the beginning of the year, CONMEBOL was able to secure the invitation to the final of the Copa Libertadores in the Maracana. At the time, participants were visibly violating social distancing rules, resulting in fines from the city government.

The city announced that this time the participants will be spread across the entire stadium instead of focusing on one section.

The Brazilian government has drawn widespread criticism from public health experts and much of the public for hosting the Copa America, even if the country has not yet got the coronavirus pandemic under control.

By the end of June, around 140 people associated with the tournament had tested positive for the virus.