Botafogo refuse to play if June dates for Carioca are maintained
As it stands, the Alvinegro are scheduled to play against Volta Redonda on the 22nd of June but the club maintain they will only resume play in July at the earliest.
A member of Botafogo’s committee, Carlos Augusto Montenegro, suggested that if the June 22nd resumption dates by Ferj are upheld, the Carioca Championship is more or less over for the club.
Botafogo are not the only heavyweight side to be against resumption at the moment. Elsewhere, Fluminense are another side that have similarly rejected playing in June as well.
Montenegro went on to further counter the criticism both clubs (Botafogo and Fluminense) received in the last meeting that had a representative from all clubs. Most of the other sides tried to say that both clubs did not resume training early and had only themselves to blame. In addition to that, Rubens Lopes, president of Ferj, even compared the two sides to "bad students".
Botafogo president Nelson Mufarrej spoke on Wednesday morning about the club’s stance regarding training and resumption of the championship.
“Botafogo only starts on July 1st. So, we are preparing for training, waiting for results, doing medical tests ... And we should train on Saturday. First training, with a ball after almost 100 days.”
“Do you think we will play on Monday? With a training day? I will not. So forget it. The championship is over for us. If the game is maintained for Monday, Botafogo will not will compete in the championship. If they put the Botafogo game for July 1, Botafogo will compete in the championship. It is the simplest thing in the world ", he said.
Perhaps the strongest resistance from Botafogo so far is that they won’t be opening the Nilton Santos Stadium for use as well.
The club’s stadium is supposed to be one of the three venues that the Carioca Championship would be completed in after the restart and the refusal to release it for use could be a blow to the competition’s organizers.
"If they don't want Botafogo and Fluminense, just don't change. Okay. Just leave it there on the 22nd. There will be no WO, there will be no stadium. No one will enter the stadium", club president Nelson added.
As it stands, the duo of Botafogo and Fluminense are preparing to file an appeal at the Rio de Janeiro Sports Court to return to play only in July. It remains to be seen how the situation would be resolved.