Brazilian Football Club Flamengo has been going through delicate moments this season. Firstly, the current Copa Libertadores holders saw their most successful manager ever, Jorge Jesus, bid farewell some months ago after winning almost every trophy there was for the Brazilian club to win.
The announcement of the departure of the Portuguese manager shocked everyone, as he had just signed a new contract with Flamengo, in which he was going to earn more than any other Portuguese club could have offered him. However, there’s a whole reason behind it, and it’s linked to this new situation we’re all living on.
The coronavirus outbreak and thus social distancing and everything made Jesus reconsider his Flamengo future. Soon, the Portuguese manager told the Rio de Janeiro-based club’s board that he no longer wished to carry on with his Flamengo job and would move back to Europe.
The Saga for a new manager
From then on, the saga began as the Brazilian club had to go to Europe in the middle of a global pandemic and try to convince a European manager to come back to Rio. That was Domenec Torrent, a Catalan manager who spent nearly his whole career working side-by-side with Pep Guardiola.
Expectations were high for Torrent, but Flamengo’s performances were quite pathetic, and that’s not even the worst part. As if it wasn’t enough, Flamengo had 19 players within the main squad plus manager Domenec all testing positive for covid. With both the Brazilian Serie A and the Copa Libertadores going on.
That means that Flamengo had to line up academy players in recent Copa Libertadores matchups and just to make things a little worse, they infected both Independiente Del Valle and Barcelona Guayaquil players.
Is it fair to punish the Brazilian Club?
The fact is, the Copa Libertadores’ organizer, CONMEBOL, wants to punish the Red & Black Brazilian side for spreading the virus as it could potentially lead to the South American tournament’s complete halt.
However, is it fair to punish the Brazilian club for having their players testing positive?
The point is: Even though Flamengo accepted the imposed conditions for the return of Football, none of them ever mentioned the measures to be taken in case a team had more than three-fourths of its main squad ruled out.
Some reports coming from South America’s biggest newspapers are saying that the Brazilian club could even face a competition ban, with the decision to be taken in the upcoming days. In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro newspapers are pushing a narrative that the ban is too harsh and a fine would be fairer.
Even though playing with a mixed-up team, Flamengo still managed to win at Barcelona’s in Ecuador and share the top of the Group with Independiente Del Valle, both on 9 points. The other team in the Group is Colombia’s Junior Barranquilla, who sits third, on 6 points.
The question is: Should Flamengo be banned from the competition? In case they are not, will they make it to the next phase? We shall find out very soon!