Brazil to stop unvaccinated footballers playing in top leagues

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Soccer Football - Brazilian team announced for friendly matches - CBF headquarters, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - September 20, 2019 General view outside of the Brazilian Football Confederation REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File Photo

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Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on Friday players must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to take part in this year’s league championship,

The CBF said it was in constant contact with health bodies and had sent an updated list of requirements to member clubs.

"One of these is the obligation to present a full vaccination certificate against COVID-19 to the CBF’s Medical Commission,” it said in a statement.

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The top four national divisions kick off in the second week of April.

Brazil coach Tite has said he was not selecting Atletico Madrid defender Renan Lodi for his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers because he was not fully vaccinated.

The issue of athletes' stance on vaccines has dominated sports headlines recently after tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, was deported ahead of the Australian Open. read more

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Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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