In a press conference this Monday (23), the mayor of Belo Horizonte, Alexandre Kalil, explained the reason for the new ban on fans in stadiums in the capital of Minas Gerais. The governor, who was once president of the Atlético-MG, also countered statements by Ricardo Guimarães, one of the club’s patrons, and also by the current representative, Sérgio Coelho, who were critical of the decision.
Kalil began by noting that the decision to allow the public to return to the stadiums was taken by the Municipality of Belo Horizonte. However, he remembered the scenes that went around the country referring to Atlético and cruise, both in Mineirão, and which had a negative impact on account of the agglomerations.
“It was an initiative of Alexandre Kalil, who asked the coping committee to give us an opportunity to find out if football could come back. No director of any club in Belo Horizonte was via official letter, via in person, via phone call, asking with the fans in mind football. So I get absurd how suddenly it seems that we are unilaterally closing football. The fans and the population have to know that we opened football unilaterally. After we decided that football deserved a chance, we called the club to put on the protocols, which unfortunately worked out. Let’s not go back here, because everyone watched, Brazil watched, it was a national story, it was put up as a real national scandal, but let’s not blame anyone.
Kalil also explained that the ban on fans will not be definitive and even hinted that, on September 29, when the rooster receive the palm trees for the return game of the semifinal of the Libertadores Conmebol, it is possible that there is already an audience back to Mineirão.
“We’ll evaluate first. When it goes to anything different from what it is today, of course they will be called, as they were. But, we saw, it was national news, extremely negative as for the city hall, for Atlético, for Cruzeiro, and we have we have to be sensible and wait a little longer. The numbers are improving, but we have to be distant, we have to be careful and look at the health part. We’ll make a protocol, we’ll leave it for the next fifteen days,” he said .
“Look, I don’t want to leave any expectations [para Atlético x Palmeiras], it is no longer up to me now… We have a record of all stadium attendees in both events. In the coming weeks, we will be able to compare the CPF’s of those who are hospitalized, sick or tested positive, with those who were in the stadium. We can know what will be the impact on the epidemiological profile of the pandemic. It is obvious that, if there is no impact, we can release the fans for the game on the 29th,” he added.
During the press conference, the mayor of BH even refuted accusations made by Sérgio Coelho, who compared the presence of the public in Mineirão with the release of the Hippie Fair in Belo Horizonte.
“To the president of Atlético, politely as he was in his live, I want to say that 2,300 families depend on the Hippie Fair, which was closed for over a year. There are 2,300 families that need to buy rice, beans and, perhaps, eggs. The big difference between pleasing an audience of 4,000 in one game or 15, 18, 25,000 in the other is that there are 2,300 families desperately trying to feed. football game for a fair where these people starved for so long,” he said.
He also replied Ricardo Guimarães, one of the main investors in the rooster, who accused him of having again banned the crowd in the stadiums for “envy and jealousy”.
“I want to warn Atlético fans, who may not even remember that Mr. Ricardo Guimarães was the president who pushed us to the Second Division, which is, without a doubt, in the 113 years of our club’s history, the worst president that has been there, that stained our shirt, that saddened our sacred mantle. For 15 years, Mr. Ricardo Guimarães has been charging interest from Atlético and a real guarantee of television contracts. So, he is not an eternal collaborator. in fact, a finding for those who have an investigative interest. It’s just a matter of taking in my administration all the loan contracts, in addition to interest, had real guarantees. And the debt, pseudo debt, that Atlético has with Mr. Ricardo Guimarães is exclusively under his mandate , because in the others, no president owed his bank, because they were all tied up in television contracts, with due interest and monetary correction. The contracts of my time are there, probably from Daniel’s time (Nepomuceno) are there, the other is there. So, just get the contracts to see if it was money placed by charity by the eternal collaborator,” he declared.
“[Essa declaração] it’s something of failure, something of those who have not won anything, something of being frustrated, something of those who led Atlético to its greatest disaster… I don’t participate in Atlético’s life, I have more to do, I have to take care of a population, of a pandemic. Don’t measure me by your ruler, Ricardo Guimarães, to say that Kalil is supporting Atlético is an offense to me and my children, don’t measure me by your ruler,” he concluded.