Defiant Brazilian President Makes U-Turn, Set For COVID-19 Vaccination

File Photo of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. AFP

 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has confirmed he will not get vaccinated against Covid-19, having previously said he would be the “last Brazilian” to do so.

The far-right leader has generated controversy over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and for initially downplaying the seriousness of the virus, despite catching it himself.

“I’ve decided not to get vaccinated. I’m looking at new studies, I already have the highest immunization, why would I get vaccinated?” the 66-year-old said late Tuesday night in an interview with Jovem Pan radio.

“It would be the same as betting 10 reais on the lottery to win two. It doesn’t make sense.”

A coronavirus skeptic, Bolsonaro previously claimed the Pfizer vaccine could turn people into crocodiles due to secondary effects.

Since contracting Covid-19 in July 2020, Bolsonaro has repeatedly claimed that tests have shown he has a large number of antibodies to fight the virus and thus does not need to be vaccinated, something experts dispute.

Bolsonaro is also strongly opposed to the health passes, given to those that are vaccinated, required by some large Brazilian cities in order to access certain public spaces.

“For me, freedom comes before everything else. If a citizen doesn’t want to get vaccinated, that’s his right and that’s the end of it,” Bolsonaro told Jovem Pan.

Almost 100 million of Brazil’s 213 million population are entirely vaccinated against Covid-19, while another 50 million have had one dose.

Last week, the country surpassed 600,000 deaths from Covid-19, the second-worst death toll in the world after the United States.

Bolsonaro’s refusal to get vaccinated has also solicited criticism from abroad, notably in September when he traveled to New York for the UN General Assembly.

While there, he was photographed standing in a street eating pizza, something Brazilian press attributed to his being unable to enter restaurants due to being unvaccinated.

AFP

Back From UN, Bolsonaro’s Son Tests Positive For COVID-19

In this file photo taken on September 07, 2021, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo waves supporters during his arrival to the flag-raising ceremony at Alvorada Palace, amidst the Independence Day celebrations in Brasilia. EVARISTO SA / AFP

 

President Jair Bolsonaro’s lawmaker son said Friday he had contracted the coronavirus — the third member of Brazil’s delegation to the UN General Assembly in New York to test positive.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, 37, said on Twitter he was feeling well and had “started to treat myself” without specifying what he was using.

He cited his infection as evidence in his campaign against the coronavirus vaccine passport recently introduced in some Brazilian cities.

“We know that the vaccines were developed faster than is usually the case. I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and I got Covid,” he said.

“Does this mean the vaccine is useless? No. But I believe it is another argument against the health passport.”

Brazil’s health minister Marcelo Queiroga tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday after attending the assembly and had to quarantine in a hotel in New York.

The third positive test was in a diplomat who arrived in New York a day ahead of Jair Bolsonaro.

President Bolsonaro, who has survived COVID-19, appeared without a mask on several occasions during his UN trip despite refusing to get the vaccine.

He caused a stir on social media after a photograph showed him taking few precautions as he ate a slice of pizza from a New York street vendor with other members of the Brazilian delegation.

Since his return, the president has been self-isolating at his official residence for having had contact with Queiroga and is due to undergo a PCR test this weekend.

 

Family Differences

Bolsonaro opened the General Assembly with a speech in which he made several misleading or inaccurate statements, several related to the pandemic, according to AFP’s Factcheck team.

The president has minimized the virus as a “little flu,” fought lockdowns, questioned face masks, and rejected various offers of vaccines for his population while pushing unproven drugs such as hydroxychloroquine.

Bolsonaro has said he will be the “last” Brazilian to get the vaccine.

But in an interview with Veja journal published Friday, he revealed that his wife Michelle had received the vaccine while in New York this week for the UN trip.

“Getting vaccinated is a personal choice. My wife, for example, decided to get vaccinated in the United States. Me, no,” he said.

Bolsonaro is under fire at home for his handling of the pandemic, which has claimed nearly 600,000 lives there, and the revelation about his wife prompted further criticism.

Epidemiologist Pedro Hallal told broadcaster G1 that the decision showed “contempt for the public health system and all Brazilians. It shows a lack of confidence.”

Bolsonaro critic Senator Omar Aziz congratulated Michelle Bolsonaro for getting the vaccine, but said, “she could have got vaccinated here; showing Brazilians that she was getting vaccinated could have set a good example.”

The government later issued a statement saying that the first lady had been offered a vaccine as she was doing a COVID-19 PCR test, and so had said yes as she had been planning to get vaccinated anyway.

The statement said she reiterated “her admiration and respect for the Brazilian health system.”

Football ‘Not Above The Law’, Says Brazil Coach Tite

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 05, 2021 Brazil’s coach Tite (C) is seen after employees of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) entered to the field during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between Brazil and Argentina at the Neo Quimica Arena, also known as Corinthians Arena, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP)

 

Brazil coach Tite said “not everything is allowed” in football in reference to Sunday’s World Cup qualifier aborted minutes after kick-off over alleged Covid-19 quarantine breaches by Argentina.

“The justice system, laws, respect and social order exists; in football not everything is allowed, there are rules,” said Tite, without explicitly mentioning Argentina, during a press conference in Recife ahead of Brazil’s upcoming match with Peru.

In remarkable scenes on Sunday, Brazilian health officials stormed the pitch seven minutes into the clash between the South American giants at Sao Paulo’s Neo Quimica Arena, halting the match and triggering a melee involving team officials and players.

Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), which was the victim of a cyber attack Wednesday following its intervention in the match, said four England-based players in Argentina’s squad should be placed in “immediate quarantine” for violating Covid-19 protocols.

Argentina have denied the accusations. FIFA has said a decision on possible disciplinary action would be taken “in due course”.

“I don’t know exactly what was done nor at what point. I cannot and should not judge, but to go above the law… no. A bit of respect for an entity, for a country, for a population, for a club and a national team,” said Tite.

“I still want the game to be played, but if a mistake was made then the law applies,” he added.

South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL said the game had been “suspended” but gave no detail on whether the match would be played at another date.

AFP

COVID-19: Brazilian Premier League Players Risk Ban

File photo: Players of Brazil gather before the start of their closed-door 2022 FIFA World Cup South American qualifier football match against Venezuela at Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 13, 2020. NELSON ALMEIDA / POOL / AFP

 

Liverpool and Manchester City are among Premier League clubs who could be deprived of Brazilian internationals this weekend after they refused to release players for international duty over strict coronavirus rules.

The Brazilian football association (CBF) confirmed to AFP it had asked global governing body FIFA to invoke regulations that bar players for five days after an international break if they are not released by their clubs.

Liverpool trio Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Fred of Manchester United, Chelsea defender Thiago Silva and Leeds midfielder Raphinha look set to miss out this weekend if the clubs comply.

Fred and Thiago Silva could also be absent for Champions League matches next week.

The CBF has not requested a ban for Everton forward Richarlison after he was allowed to represent Brazil at the Tokyo Olympics, where they won the gold medal.

Premier League clubs announced last month they would not release players for internationals in countries on Britain’s red list for travel restrictions aimed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

READ ALSOFIFA ‘Regrets’ Chaos At Abandoned Brazil vs Argentina Match

Despite lobbying from FIFA, no exemption was offered by the UK government for players involved, meaning they would have been forced to quarantine in a government-sanctioned hotel for 10 days on their return to Britain.

Aston Villa and Tottenham relented to allow Argentina internationals Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso to travel.

However, their presence led to the halting of a World Cup qualifier with Brazil in Sao Paulo in chaotic circumstances.

Brazilian health officials stormed onto the pitch after saying the four players should be placed into immediate quarantine for breaching Covid-19 protocols.

The four players were accused of failing to disclose that they had spent time in Britain, with arrivals from the country subject to strict quarantine measures.

AFP

Bolsonaro Issues Decree Limiting Social Media Moderation

A hand out picture released by Brazilian presidency press office shows Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaking at the G20 Heads of State Meeting that this year was held by video conference, from Planalto Palace in Brasilia on November 21, 2020. 
MARCOS CORREA / BRAZILIAN PRESIDENCY / AFP

 

 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree Monday that changes the rules of content moderation on social media, a move that critics argue could hinder the fight against disinformation.

The decree goes into effect immediately but must be ratified by Congress in order to become law. It aims to combat “the arbitrary and unjust deletion of accounts, profiles and content by providers,” the federal communications secretariat said.

Far-right leader Bolsonaro, who has himself had content removed from his social media accounts for spreading disinformation about Covid-19, says that the suspension or removal of accounts and content that various platforms have subjected him and some of his supporters to is “censorship.”

The new provision establishes a series of hypotheses for which there would be “just cause” to remove content or suspend users — such as committing crimes or inciting violence — and imposes new rules for platforms to do so.

“This provisional measure significantly hinders our ability to limit abuse on our platforms,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP. “We agree with legal experts and specialists who view the measure as a violation of constitutional rights.”

Alessandro Molon, an opposition politician and rapporteur of Brazil’s bill of rights for the internet (MCI), said he was preparing legal action to overturn the presidential decree.

“Its objective is not to protect freedom of expression, the MCI already does that,” Molon said. “What (Bolsonaro) wants is to prevent the disinformation and hate speech that he and his supporters disseminate from continuing to be removed from the platforms.”

Bolsonaro announced the decree on the eve of Brazil’s Independence Day, when his supporters are set to take to the streets of major cities throughout the country.

Tensions are running high, as anti-Bolsonaro protests have been planned in the same cities, and clashes between the groups could occur.

With polls putting Bolsonaro on track to lose badly to leftist ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in next year’s presidential elections, the ex-army captain is hoping to use the rally to energize his supporters.

‘I’ll Face This Match With A Smile’: Pele Undergoes Surgery

In this handout file photo released by WEF and taken on March 14, 2018, Brazilian football legend Pele smiles during the opening plenary at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 14, 2018.  Benedikt VON LOEBELL / World Economic Forum (WEF) / AF

 

Brazilian football great Pele has undergone surgery for a suspected colon tumor and is recovering, the hospital in Sao Paolo treating him announced on Monday.

“The tumor was identified during routine cardiovascular and laboratory examinations and the material was sent for pathological analysis,” said the Albert Einstein Hospital where Pele has been treated since August 31.

“I thank God for feeling very well,” the 80-year-old wrote on his Instagram page on Monday.

“Fortunately, I’m used to celebrating great victories alongside you.

“I will face this match with a smile on my face, a lot of optimism and joy for living surrounded by the love of my family and friends.”

Pele is due out of intensive care on Tuesday, the hospital said in a statement.

Pele, whose real name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, has been in poor health in recent years, and has had various spells in hospital, most recently in April 2019, in Paris, because of a severe urinary tract infection.

Back in Brazil, he had a kidney stone removed.

 

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A post shared by Pelé (@pele)

At the end of 2014, he suffered from a serious urinary tract infection and was placed in intensive care and on dialysis.

He also has hip problems and needed a walker to move around during his latest public appearances.

In February 2020, Pele reassured his fans about his mental health, after remarks by his son Edinho saying that he was “reclusive” and suffering “from a certain form of depression.”

READ ALSOEgypt Sack Coach After World Cup Qualifier Draw With Gabon

 Three World Cups 

Pele won the World Cup thrice. AFP

 

The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele is considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time.

He burst onto the global stage at just 17 with dazzling goals, including two in the final against hosts Sweden, as Brazil won the World Cup for the first time in 1958.

Four years later, Pele gave a tantalizing glimpse of his ability with an electric individual goal against Mexico in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win.

But he aggravated an existing injury in the second game, against the Czechs, and was forced to sit out the remainder of the tournament as his countrymen successfully defended their title.

Nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), Pele scored the opener in Brazil’s 4-1 final win over Italy in Mexico in 1970.

After retiring from international football, Pele went on to play for the New York Cosmos, before ending his career with over 1,000 goals to his name.

AFP

Wife Of Greek Ambassador To Brazil Convicted Of Husband’s Murder

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A Brazilian court has sentenced Francoise de Souza Oliveira to 31 years in prison for murdering her husband, Greek ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis, authorities said Sunday.

Amiridis, 59 at the time of his death in 2016, lived in Brasilia and was on vacation for the Christmas holidays with his wife and his daughter in Rio de Janeiro.

Days after Christmas, the remains of the diplomat were found inside his charred rental car and ripped out under a bridge, in the municipality of Nova Iguacu, near the state capital.

A police investigation found numerous clues, including blood on a sofa and security camera footage, that implicated Sergio Gomes Moreira Filho, military policeman and lover of Francoise.

The two were sentenced to 22 years in prison, initially without parole.

“The circumstances of the crime are atypical, since (the ambassador) was executed during the Christmas holidays … in this case, this family was torn apart,” said the Judge Anna Christina da Silveira Fernandes, of the 4th Criminal Court of Nova Iguacu.

In her sentence, she also indicated that “the crime was carefully thought out, premeditated,” by De Souza Oliveira.

“According to the testimony collected, the defendant planned and designed, being the mastermind behind the entire macabre plot,” she added.

The trial had a third defendant: Eduardo Moreira Tedeschi de Melo, a relative of the policeman, who was acquitted of the murder charge but sentenced to one year probation, already served, for helping to hide the body.

In this file photo taken on December 30, 2016 a man looks at the burned-out rental car of missing Greek ambassador to Brazil Kyriakos Amiridis, at a parking lot outside the police station in Belford Roxo, in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, a day after it was found with a body inside. Fabio TEIXEIRA / AFP

 

In the trial, which lasted for three days, until Friday, the judge heard 18 witnesses.

In her decision, the magistrate also referred to the accused in their capacity as public servants.

“He swore to defend society and not rebel against it (…) dishonoring the Military Police and all the trust placed in him by the State,” she said, referring to Sergio Gomes Moreira Filho.

And she pointed out that De Souza Oliveira, “who calls herself an ambassador, tarnished the name of Brazil and embarrassed the nation with her conduct, given the negative international repercussions of the events.”

De Souza Oliveira and Amiridis had married in 2004, when he was consul in Rio de Janeiro.

AFP

Brazil Beat Spain To Retain Olympic Football Crown

Brazil's gold medallists (C) celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men's football competition at Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on August 7, 2021. LOIC VENANCE / AFP
Brazil’s gold medallists (C) celebrate on the podium during the medal ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s football competition at Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, on August 7, 2021. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Brazil won Olympic men’s football gold for the second consecutive tournament as substitute Malcom struck the winner in a 2-1 victory over Spain after extra time on Saturday.

Matheus Cunha took advantage of a defensive lapse to score in first-half stoppage time after Richarlison smashed a penalty over the crossbar for Brazil.

Spain equalised on the hour when Mikel Oyarzabal crashed home a thumping volley, but former Barcelona forward Malcom secured Brazil the title with his goal in the 108th minute.

Brazil, who won gold on home soil at Rio 2016, became the fifth team to retain their Olympic crown on another triumphant night in Yokohama, where they claimed the last of their five World Cup titles in 2002.

After Neymar led Brazil to Olympic gold, this time it was the turn of Dani Alves to captain the country in the final against a strong Spain side featuring six players who participated at Euro 2020.

Unbeaten at the Olympics against a European nation since 1988, Brazil almost fell behind when Diego Carlos scooped the ball over his own goalkeeper before hooking off the line as Oyarzabal tried to pick out Dani Olmo.

A poor clearance from Unai Simon allowed Richarlison to set up Douglas Luiz, whose spinning effort was turned behind by the Spain goalkeeper.

Brazil needed penalties to get past Mexico in the semi-finals, and they were awarded a spot-kick here after a VAR review as Simon flattened Cunha while attempting to punch away a cross.

But Everton forward Richarlison wasted the chance to add to his competition-leading five goals by blazing well over.

There was no let-off for Spain a second time though when Alves sent the ball high into the area, where a hesitant Pau Torres gave Cunha time to control and slot into the corner.

Marco Asensio, Spain’s match-winner in extra time against Japan in the previous round, lasted just 45 minutes as Carlos Soler came on for the second half, inadvertently getting in the way of a goalbound effort from Oyarzabal.

Brazil nearly doubled their lead when a quick break resulted in Simon making a terrific stop with his legs to divert Richarlison’s shot onto the bar.

Spain youngster Bryan Gil, who will join Tottenham Hotspur on his return from Japan, rattled the bar two minutes from the end, as an extra 30 minutes was required for the fifth time in eight knockout matches.

Malcom, who endured a difficult spell at Barcelona in 2018-19 before leaving for Zenit Saint Petersburg, ran onto a long ball from Antony, racing past Jesus Vallejo and firing past Simon to etch his name into the history books.

AFP

Pigossi And Stefani Claim Brazil’s First Olympic Tennis Medal

Brazil’s Laura Pigossi (L) and Brazil’s Luisa Stefani celebrate after defeating Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova and Russia’s Elena Vesnina during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s doubles tennis match for the bronze medal at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on July 31, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

 

 

Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani won Brazil’s first-ever Olympic medal in tennis on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over Russians Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina in the women’s doubles bronze-medal match.

The pair saved four consecutive match points in the deciding tie-break to win 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 after two hours and 11 minutes in the baking Tokyo heat.

Brazil have sent tennis players to every Games since the sport was reintroduced to the Olympics in 1988.

 

Brazil’s Laura Pigossi (R) and Brazil’s Luisa Stefani pose after they defeated Russian pair Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina to win the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women’s doubles tennis match for the bronze medal at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on July 31, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

 

Kudermetova and Vesnina, who will also play in Sunday’s mixed doubles final alongside Aslan Karatsev, led 9-5 in the breaker but failed to secure victory.

Pigossi and Stefani sealed their historic medal with a brilliant run of six straight points.

Richarlison On Target As Brazil Beat Germany In Olympics


Brazil’s forward Richarlison (2ndR) and teammates celebrate after Brazil scored their fourth goal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s group D first round football match between Brazil and Germany at the Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama on July 22, 2021.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

France’s bid for men’s Olympic football glory got off to a nightmare start with a 4-1 defeat by Mexico on Thursday, while Richarlison scored a hat-trick as reigning champions Brazil beat Germany in a six-goal thriller.

Sylvain Ripoll’s France are looking for a first Olympic medal since winning gold in 1984, but collapsed in the second half at Tokyo Stadium.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result but also with the balance of our play,” said former Lorient boss Ripoll.

“To compete, we would’ve needed a big performance, but that wasn’t the case.”

Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break through Alexis Vega, before Sebastian Cordova doubled their advantage in the 55th minute.

Mexico’s forward Alexis Vega (R) vies with France’s midfielder Teji Savanier during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s group A first round football match between Mexico and France at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo on July 22, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

The 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac, whose last game for the French senior team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal, pulled one back from the penalty spot with 21 minutes remaining.

But any thoughts of a comeback were quashed as Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre netted late on for 2012 champions Mexico.

France now face a tough task to get out of Group A with a top-two finish, ahead of games against Covid-hit South Africa on Sunday and hosts Japan on July 28.

“The first thing we now have to do is digest this disappointment,” added Ripoll. “We only have two days. There’s no time to waste.”

Japan saw off South Africa, who had two players test positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, 1-0 thanks to Takefusa Kubo’s second-half strike.


Brazil’s midfielder Paulinho (C) celebrates with Brazil’s forward Richarlison (2ndR) after he scored his side’s fourth goal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s group D first round football match between Brazil and Germany at the Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama on July 22, 2021. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Brazil, who won gold for the first time when inspired by Neymar on home soil five years ago in Rio, downed Germany 4-2 in a dramatic match which saw forward Richarlison net a first-half hat-trick.

The Everton man scored three times inside the first half an hour, but Matheus Cunha missed a penalty and Germany then threatened an unlikely second-half comeback.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Nadiem Amiri pulled one back before the hour mark, and although Maximilian Arnold was sent off shortly afterwards, substitute Ragnar Ache cut the deficit to one goal with seven minutes of the 90 left.

But it was another Leverkusen player, Paulinho, who came off the bench and put the match to bed for Brazil in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Ivory Coast also picked up three points in Group D as AC Milan’s Franck Kessie netted the match-clinching goal in a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia.

READ ALSO: France Thrashed By Mexico In Olympic Opener As Brazil Beat Germany

Spain held by Egypt 

Spain struggled in Sapporo, as a team featuring six players who reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals dominated possession but created few chances in a 0-0 draw with Egypt.

The closest they came to a goal was when Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who recently spent two seasons on loan at Arsenal, crashed a first-half shot against the post.

Spain, winners on home soil in 1992, next take on Australia in three days’ time before their final Group C match with Argentina.

Australia took early control in the table, as goals from Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio saw them beat 10-man Argentina 2-0.

New Zealand made a successful start in Group B as Burnley striker Chris Wood, one of the three over-age players in the squad, secured a 1-0 victory over South Korea in Kashima with his 72nd-minute winner.

It was their first-ever win in Olympic football, having managed just one draw in each of the 2008 and 2012 tournaments.

An own goal saw Romania edge out Honduras 1-0 in the group’s other game.

AFP

France Thrashed By Mexico In Olympic Opener As Brazil Beat Germany

Mexico’s forward Alexis Vega (R) vies with France’s midfielder Teji Savanier during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s group A first round football match between Mexico and France at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo on July 22, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

France’s bid for men’s Olympic football glory got off to a nightmare start with a 4-1 defeat by Mexico on Thursday, while Richarlison scored a hat-trick as reigning champions Brazil beat Germany in a six-goal thriller.

Sylvain Ripoll’s France are looking for a first Olympic medal since winning gold in 1984, but collapsed in the second half at Tokyo Stadium.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result but also with the balance of our play,” said former Lorient boss Ripoll.

“To compete, we would’ve needed a big performance, but that wasn’t the case.”

Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break through Alexis Vega, before Sebastian Cordova doubled their advantage in the 55th minute.

The 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac, whose last game for the French senior team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal, pulled one back from the penalty spot with 21 minutes remaining.

But any thoughts of a comeback were quashed as Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre netted late on for 2012 champions Mexico.

France now face a tough task to get out of Group A with a top-two finish, ahead of games against Covid-hit South Africa on Sunday and hosts Japan on July 28.

“The first thing we now have to do is digest this disappointment,” added Ripoll. “We only have two days. There’s no time to waste.”

Japan saw off South Africa, who had two players test positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, 1-0 thanks to Takefusa Kubo’s second-half strike.

Brazil, who won gold for the first time when inspired by Neymar on home soil five years ago in Rio, downed Germany 4-2 in a dramatic match which saw forward Richarlison net a first-half hat-trick.

The Everton man scored three times inside the first half an hour, but Matheus Cunha missed a penalty and Germany then threatened an unlikely second-half comeback.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Nadiem Amiri pulled one back before the hour mark, and although Maximilian Arnold was sent off shortly afterwards, substitute Ragnar Ache cut the deficit to one goal with seven minutes of the 90 left.

But it was another Leverkusen player, Paulinho, who came off the bench and put the match to bed for Brazil in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Ivory Coast also picked up three points in Group D as AC Milan’s Franck Kessie netted the match-clinching goal in a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia.

– Spain held by Egypt –

Spain struggled in Sapporo, as a team featuring six players who reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals dominated possession but created few chances in a 0-0 draw with Egypt.

The closest they came to a goal was when Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who recently spent two seasons on loan at Arsenal, crashed a first-half shot against the post.

Spain, winners on home soil in 1992, next take on Australia in three days’ time before their final Group C match with Argentina.

Australia took early control in the table, as goals from Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio saw them beat 10-man Argentina 2-0.

New Zealand made a successful start in Group B as Burnley striker Chris Wood, one of the three over-age players in the squad, secured a 1-0 victory over South Korea in Kashima with his 72nd-minute winner.

It was their first-ever win in Olympic football, having managed just one draw in each of the 2008 and 2012 tournaments.

An own goal saw Romania edge out Honduras 1-0 in the group’s other game.

AFP

Brazil President Discharged From Hospital

A hand out picture released by Brazilian presidency press office shows Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaking at the G20 Heads of State Meeting that this year was held by video conference, from Planalto Palace in Brasilia on November 21, 2020. MARCOS CORREA / BRAZILIAN PRESIDENCY / AFP

 

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro was discharged from hospital on Sunday having spent four days receiving treatment for an intestinal obstruction.

The far right leader was originally taken to a military hospital in the capital Brasilia on Wednesday after suffering persistent hiccups that had lasted around 10 days.

Later that day he was transferred to the private Vila Nova Star hospital in Sao Paulo.

“I had to go on a diet, I did what I had to do. I wanted to leave from day one, but they wouldn’t let me. I hope that in about 10 days I will be able to eat a rib eye steak,” Bolsonaro told reporters as he left the hospital.

“It seems that my stomach was on fire. The cause was an intestinal obstruction, which is common in those like me that have undergone surgery, after the stabbing,” said Bolsonaro, who spoke to journalist for half an hour.

There had been fears Bolsonaro, 66, might need surgery to clear the obstruction, although that was quickly ruled out.

He has undergone surgery six times since he was stabbed in the abdomen in 2018 on the campaign trail.

On Thursday the hospital had said he was “evolving satisfactorily” while his legislator son, Eduardo Bolsonaro said doctors had removed “close to one liter (a quarter of a gallon) of liquid” from the president’s stomach that was caused by the obstruction, considerably alleviating the pain.

While in hospital, Bolsonaro continued to work and was very active on social media, publishing photos and commenting on political subjects.

Because of his abdominal problems, Bolsonaro has been told to “chew food well, eat lighter meals, exercise, walk,” head of the medical team at the hospital, Antonio Macedo said on Saturday.

Bolsonaro’s health scare came at a difficult time for the president who last week saw his disapproval rating climb to an all-time high.

The Senate has also launched an investigation over his handling of the pandemic, the seriousness of which he repeatedly downplayed and which has cost almost 540,000 lives in Brazil. The investigation was extended by 90 days on Wednesday.

Bolsonaro, who contracted Covid-19 last year, is also being investigated by the public prosecutor for allegedly failing to act on an embezzlement tip-off regarding coronavirus vaccine purchases.

The opposition is pushing for the president of the chamber of deputies to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro.

AFP