Just weeks before the Copa America 2021 starts, Argentina was stripped of the tournament. Brazil is now set to host the contest. According to the South American Football Confederation or CONMEBOL, Argentina’s removal as host was due to the “present circumstances.” The said country is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Struggle to Find a Host Amidst the Pandemic
The original hosts for the Copa America 2021 were Colombia and Argentina. Colombia rescinded their duty on May 20, citing political unrest in the country. It seemed like Argentina was going to take sole responsibility for the tournament. However, because of the pandemic, they chose not to be hosts.
Moreover, opposition to the Copa America 2021 had grown in Argentina. The said country went into a new 9-day lockdown after seeing 35,000 new cases each day of the week.
The tournament was due to be played in 2020. But, the coronavirus forced its postponement to 2021. Now, 13 days before it is about to begin, its new host was announced.
Brazil Confirmed as Last Minute Host
The Copa America 2021 will begin on June 13 and will end on July 11. Brazil is now the current host, and Chief of Staff Luiz Ramos confirmed it. The country will host the tournament in four venues. They will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Mato Grosso, and Goias. These venues will hold the rescheduled competition.
On his Twitter, Ramos posted, “The Copa America in Brazil is confirmed. Coherence has won out. Brazil, which hosts the Libertadores, Sudamericana, not to mention the state and Brazilian Championship, cannot close its doors to such a traditional competition as this.”
CONMEBOL also confirmed the post by tweeting, “Conmebol thanks the president @jairbolsonaro and his team, as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation for opening the doors of that country to what is today the safest sporting event in the world. South America will shine in Brazil with all its stars!”
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