CONMEBOL announced late on Monday that Brazil would be hosting the Copa America 2021 after Argentina were stripped of hosting rights.
CONMEBOL announced late on Monday that Brazil would be hosting the Copa America 2021 after Argentina were stripped of hosting rights. The tournament was on the precipice as with less than two weeks to go, there was no confirmed host nation. Argentina and Colombia were going to jointly host the tournament at first. However, waves of protests in Colombia saw them pull out as co-hosts. However, the worsening COVID-19 situation in Argentina meant playing football there wasn’t feasible. As a result, the oldest international football tournament in the world will kick off as planned on June 13. The final will take place on July 10.
“The 2021 Copa America will be played in Brazil!” Conmebol said in a statement. “The start and finish dates are confirmed. The host cities and the matches will be revealed by Conmebol in the coming hours.”
Argentina saw a rise of new Covid cases over the past week. As a result, a strict new lockdown has been put in place by the government.
Last Thursday saw a record rise in number of new cases in one day. The total death toll stands 76,693 by the weekend, according to data from the World Health Organisation.
Yet if concerns over Argentina’s COVID crisis led to the shifting of the tournament, then Brazil makes for an odd alternative.
Brazil is one of the worst hit countries in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic. At one point, their number of deaths and active cases were the highest in the world.
More than 450,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Brazil. The country has routinely reported the continent’s highest case numbers and deaths.
To make matters worse, they rank second highest in the world for both daily reported cases and deaths at present. India are the worst hit in terms of new cases and deaths.
There are two reasons why CONMEBOL was never going to call off the Cpa America. For one, it has already carried over from 2020 into this year due to COVID-19.
For the other, the tournament brings in a lot of revenue. In fact, it is the second biggest source of revenue for the body. The biggest earner is, of course, the Copa Libertadores, South America’s version of the Champions League.