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Rio football clubs assume control of Maracanã

Rio de Janeiro-based football clubs Flamengo and Fluminense have agreed a six-month deal to manage the Brazilian city’s iconic Maracanã stadium.

Rio governor Wilson Witzel announced the agreement on Friday. The six-month deal begins on April 19 and includes the option for a six-month extension.

The deal comes after the Rio government announced last month that it would regain control of the 78,000-seat stadium after annulling a contract with its private administrators. The government stated at the time that it is owed around BRL38m (£7.5m/€8.7m/$9.8m) by Maracanã SA, the group that used to run the stadium.

Under the new agreement, the two clubs will pay the state BRL166,666.67 per month. This amount will be put towards the maintenance of the Estádio de Atletismo Célio de Barros and the Parque Aquático Júlio Delamare. In addition, 10 per cent of the net revenue from the Maracanã tour will be transferred for public use, with a minimum collection guarantee of BRL64,000 per month.

Following the announcement, Flamengo and Fluminense said in a statement that, although rival clubs Botafogo and Vasco da Gama are not part of their consortium, they will still have access to use the stadium.

Rio’s Secretary of State for Sport, Leisure and Youth, Felipe Bornier, said: “The government has full confidence in the clubs. This is a new era for Rio’s football and for millions of fans who are passionate about football and the Maracanã.”

The Maracanã served as the centrepiece of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and also hosted matches during Rio’s staging of the Olympic Games in 2016. The stadium will host the final of the Copa America national team football tournament this summer.

Image: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo