Brazilian football club Flamengo announced on Thursday that it will no longer play matches held in high altitude places such as Potosi, in Bolivia, where its team players suffered with low atmospheric pressure on Wednesday.
During the match against Bolivias Real Potosi for the Libertadores Cup, Flamengos players had to rely on an oxygen cylinder to help them through the challenge. Potosi is located on the Bolivian Andes, at about 4,000 meters above sea level, and atmospheric conditions made it hard to breathe for players like midfielder Renato Augusto, who had make use of the device, placed on Flamengos bench, several times during the whole game. Even goalkeeper Bruno almost passed away when defending a goal kick.
According to a press statement released by the club's President Marcio Braga, practicing sports under such conditions is a barbarian act, as it risks the lives of athletes. Braga also said that not forbidding such games was as serious as not worrying about doping.
"We will notify CBF the Brazilian Football Confederation, the South American Football Confederation Conmebol and FIFA that we will not take part in games in heights that compromise athletes health," stressed Braga.
Despite the difficulties, Flamengo managed to tie 2-2 in the second half of the match, with goals scored by midfielder Roni and striker Obina. The performance was regarded as heroic by the club's President.