Brazilian striker Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa and about 200 other individuals were detained early on Sunday at a clandestine casino in Sao Paulo that was determined to be in violation of coronavirus distancing regulations, according to state officials.
A big gathering at an illegal business in the wealthy Vila Olimpia area drew the attention of health inspectors and the police department. When they arrived, they were met by individuals who were “flagrantly drinking alcohol, breaching social distancing norms, and not wearing masks,” according to a statement from the Sao Paulo authorities.
Gabriell, 24, was taken to a police station and freed after signing a paper stating that he would return to provide evidence, according to the statement. In an interview with Globonews, the young athlete, who plays for both the Rio de Janeiro club Flamengo and the Brazilian national team, downplayed the significance of the event.
“I don’t bet very much,” he said. “I was with a group of pals, and we went out to dinner.”
Despite the fact that he usually wears a mask, he said that he was about to leave the casino when the cops came, after seeing how busy it was. His popular Rio de Janeiro team, which will be the league winners in 2020, said the incident will be “dealt with internally,” according to an AFP report.
According to police official Eduardo Brotero, the athlete was in “a fairly big underground casino” where “a significant number of people were packed together, exposed to contagion” from the coronavirus, according to GloboNews.
The gamer, who went by the name Gabigol, was seen being taken away by police in videos released by the authorities.
He was clothed in a white shirt and a black hat, with a facemask over his mouth. Since March 6, the state of Sao Paulo has been on “red” alert owing to an increase in coronavirus cases, which has resulted in the closure of parks, bars, restaurants, museums, and non-essential businesses. More than 277,000 people have died in Brazil, making it the second most deadly country in the world behind the United States. It has been responsible for 11.4 million infections.
Despite the fact that it has suffered almost 64,000 fatalities, Sao Paulo will impose even tighter restrictions on Monday, with churches closing and sporting activities being cancelled, as well as a nighttime curfew.
According to Brotero, the casino’s owners and managers will be investigated for crimes against public health and for breaching the state’s prohibition on gambling enterprises.