The Copa America 2021 is in disarray just 13 days before it was going to kick off as continental tournament is now without a host.
The Copa America 2021 is in disarray just 13 days before it was going to kick off. The South American continental tournament is now without a host. This is after the CONMEBOL, the continent’s football governing body, said Argentina can no longer host the tournament. The reason is the rise of COVID-19 cases in the nation.
“CONMEBOL informs that in view of the current circumstances it has decided to suspend the organization of the Copa America in Argentina,” the governing body tweeted.
“CONMEBOL is analysing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament. Updates will be announced soon.”
This is the latest in a series of troubles that have plagued this year’s edition of the tournament. It was going to first be jointly hosted by Argentina and Colombia.
This was notable because the cup has never been co-hosted before in its 105-year history. Yet Colombia were removed as hosts due to rising protests in the country.
Now, even Argentina are unable to host the tournament. The country saw a rise of new Covid cases over the past weel. 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.
Even players who flew back to South America were getting worried. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez had said, “We have to give priority to the health of human beings,” on Friday.
There are two reasons why CONMEBOL will most likely not call off the Copa 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.
As of now, the tournament is still set to begin from June 13 and end on July 10. What remains to be seen is where it is held.