Seamus Leonard

Flamengo’s Jorge Jesus wants games ‘to stop’ in Brazil

Jorge Jesus has called on authorities to act responsibly and call a halt to professional football in Brazil.

The Flamengo manager made his comments in the aftermath of his side’s narrow 2-1 win over Portuguesa RJ on Saturday.

Portuguesa RJ looked on course for an unlikely win in the Taça Rio after Maicon Douglas Teixeira Goulart Alves gave them a shock lead in the 59th minute.

However, Flamengo managed to pull the game out of the fire with two last-gasp goals.

The first came via an own goal by Portuguesa’s Marcos Eduardo Costa in the last minute of the regulation 90.

Then Giorgian De Arrascaeta snatched the win with a tidy turn and right-footed finish in the third minute of stoppage time.

The game was played behind closed doors after a late call by FERJ to stop fans from attending the Maracanã in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In a similarly precautionary move, Jesus did not give his usual post-match press conference.

Instead he spoke exclusively to FLA TV, the club’s official channel, and told them that continuing to play games in the current climate is untenable.

“This virus is a concern that we may have, with us, with our families,” the 65-year-old said.

“It’s been a big problem. I am Portuguese, I know very well what is happening in Portugal.

“I lost a friend because of that. This (games) will have to stop.

“We have to understand that the players are not supermen. I hope this was the last game in that situation.”

As it stands, Flamengo do not play again until Monday, March 23, when they are scheduled to face Bangu in their final Taça Rio group game.