Brazilian footballer Gabriel Barbosa Almeida, commonly known as Gabigol, has been detained by police after being caught inside an illegal gambling hall in Sao Paulo.
The 24-year-old, who currently plays for Brazilian top-flight club Flamengo, was led by police from the venue in Villa Olimpia, where around 200 people were in attendance. He was then placed into a vehicle and taken to a nearby station.
The gathering breached coronavirus restrictions in the country, with police video footage capturing events inside the building. Those in attendance signed papers at the station and pledged to provide clarifications to police at a later date before being released.
Police chief Eduardo Brotero said a task force, set up by the state government, had expected to discover a secret party, only to find that a makeshift casino had been set up.
“Those detained were conducted to provide clarification here at the police station,” said Brotero. “The employees and the person in charge of the place must also answer for crimes against public health, gambling and misdemeanour. The others will be heard later.”
Gabigol missed his club’s match against Fluminense on Sunday night, in which Flamengo lost 1-0.
Brazil is currently the second-highest country in the world for Covid-related deaths, with over 270,00 people passing away throughout the pandemic.