FutVe kicks off amid rebound in covid-19

FutVe will be the last in South America to start the season this year, amid the covid-19 pandemic that has an alarming rebound in this country.

The defending champion Deportivo La Guaira receives this Sunday in the opening match Aragua FC, which this week qualified for the group stage of the Copa Sudamericana.

The tournament is held in a special format to limit travel and facilitate logistics in the midst of the pandemic: teams will be divided into three groups due to their geographical proximity for the regular round. It will be followed by a second phase to determine champions and international groups.

Deportivo Táchira, Hermanos Colmenarez, Estudiantes de Mérida, Trujillanos FC, Zamora FC, Portuguesa FC and Zulia FC will be in the Occidental Group.

Caracas FC, UCV, Monagas, Mineros de Guayana; Atlético Venezuela, Metropolitanos and LALA FC, in the Oriental.

And in the Central: La Guaira and Aragua along with Gran Valencia, Carabobo FC, Deportivo Lara, Yaracuyanos and Academia Puerto Cabello.

Palito, "the gypsy"

In the transfer market, the hiring of former Uruguayan international Álvaro 'Palito' Pereira stands out, who at the age of 35 hopes to rediscover his football with Estudiantes de Mérida, a club with which he signed for two seasons.

"We continue working, getting ready, but I feel in great shape," he said in March at a press conference in which he declared himself "a football gypsy" who adds one more experience.

"If it were for money, I would have stayed at home (...), I came here because I feel football."

In the local market, the hiring of Richard Blanco and Jesús Meza by Academia Puerto Cabello, and Jesús 'La Pulga' Gómez, on his return to Estudiantes de Mérida, stands out.

La Guaira, trained by Daniel Farías, brother of Bolivian coach César Farías, moved hard in the transfer market and got top players on the local scene such as Carlos Cermeño, as well as Adrián Martínez, Dany Cure, José Miguel Reyes, Agnel Flores , Ronaldo Lucena, Henri Pernía and Francisco Pol.

"More virulent"

La Guaira will play in parallel to the national tournament the group stage of the Copa Libertadores 2021 together with Deportivo Táchira.

Aragua and Metropolitanos will do the same in the Copa Sudamericana.

Venezuela is going through a second wave of covid-19, linked to two “more virulent and lethal” Brazilian variants, according to the authorities of the government of President Nicolás Maduro, which recognizes just over 171.000 cases and 1.720 deaths.

These numbers have been questioned by NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, who consider that there is a high underreporting.

In 2020, Venezuelan football was defined in the so-called Normalization Tournament, organized in the last quarter of the year after the season was suspended in March due to the pandemic.

With a compressed calendar and a format emergency it served to distribute the seats of Venezuela's clubs in the 2021 international competitions, which distribute vital income for local clubs in an economy in crisis.

AFP

 

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