Packers and Eagles to play NFL season opener at Brazil club with ‘ban’ on green

The Green Bay Packers will play the Philadelphia Eagles when the NFL holds its first regular-season game in Brazil.

The 6 September matchup in Sao Paulo will mark the first time since 1970 that the NFL has played a Friday night game on the season’s opening weekend.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had said in February that the Eagles would be the home team for the game. The NFL announced on Wednesday that the Packers will face the Eagles.

The game will take place at Corinthians Arena, the home of Brazilian soccer team Corinthians. The venue was used at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Corinthians have an informal ban on the color green, worn by their bitter rivals Palmeiras, around the club. The Packers and Eagles both wear green, with the Eagles set to wear the color as the home team. In 2021, Corinthians fined their striker Jo for wearing green boots. Jo later said the boots were actually “turquoise blue”.

“I would never use green boots because of my history with Corinthians, a club I have loved since I was little,” he said. “I would never disrespect Corinthians, much less the fans. I have always honored this shirt and I always will honor it.”

There is a precedent for teams wearing jerseys with touches of green at the stadium. Brazil and Nigeria, who incorporate green in their jerseys, played at the venue during the 2016 Olympics. Nigeria played in their white away shirt with green numbers, and Brazil played in their famous yellow jerseys with green trim.

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The subject came up at the press conference to announce the game, when Sao Paulo’s mayor, Ricardo Nunes, joked: “What color is the teams’ shirts?”

This will mark the Packers’ second international game in the last three years. They played their first regular-season game outside the United States in 2022, when they lost 27-22 to the New York Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

“We’re looking forward to being a part of this historic matchup against the Eagles in Sao Paulo,” Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. “We’re excited to play in front of our devoted fans in Brazil and help build upon the international popularity of the NFL and the Packers. We had a great experience playing internationally for the first time a couple of years ago and we’re proud to be part of the league’s continued global growth.”

The game will stream exclusively on Peacock and also be available on free broadcast television in the local markets of the Eagles and Packers.

The last time the NFL had a Friday night game on its opening weekend was in September 1970, when the Los Angeles Rams hosted the St Louis Cardinals.

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