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Brazilian league brought to standstill by player protest

ESPN staff
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Brazilian players protest fixture congestion


Brazilian players stood with their arms folded at kick off at games across the league on Wednesday to protest congested schedules.

The protest came about because of pressure group Common Sense FC, who encouraged players to take action to demand fewer games, a longer pre-season and a greater say in decisions.

The problems have arisen due to the 2014 World Cup, which requires the season to end a month earlier than normal - forcing teams to play more games in midweek to compensate.

The unique scenes occurred across Brazil's domestic league, with one protest happening before the whistle because of threats that every player on the field would be shown a yellow card. To avoid this outcome in the match between Sao Paulo and Flamengo, the teams exchanged passes for almost a minute as the referee ran from one side to the other.

With the Brazilian Football Confederation making only small concessions in a meeting last month, players have warned they will get more radical as the season continues. A Common Sense FC statement said: "The CBF needs to commit to proposals, improvement and actions for all Brazilian clubs. Our protests will increase every week until we get an official answer."

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