Copa America: Brazil to host event amid coronavirus pandemic


The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has announced that Brazil will be the host of the forthcoming Copa America which is scheduled to kick off on June 13.

Recall that during the weekend, it was confirmed that Argentina would not be able to host the Copa America due to an upsurge in coronavirus cases in the country.

Initially, Conmebol planned that this edition of the Copa America would be jointly hosted by Argentina and Columbia. But the football confederation removed Columbia as a co-host of the football event on May 20, 2021, due to the political uprising in the country.

The confederation agreed to allow Argentina to host the ten countries that were billed to participate in the football event. But the cases of coronavirus in the country won’t allow that to happen.

Hence, on Monday, the football federations in South America met with Conmebol to find an emergency host for the event and decided to give the hosting rights to Brazil, 12 days to the event.

It is believed that since Brazil hosted the last edition of the event in 2019, it will be easier for them to host this edition since the country has the facilities to do so even under short notice.

“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”, the football Confederation announced via Twitter on Monday.

Minutes after this announcement, Luiz Ramos, the chief of staff to President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil said it is not a done deal yet between the country and Conmebol. He said in a statement that the football confederation still has a lot of strict conditions to agree to before Brazil could hold the event.

“We are in the middle of the process (of negotiations). But, we will not shy away from a demand that, if it’s possible to be done, it could be done,” Ramos said.

Copa America: Brazil to host event amid coronavirus pandemic
Brazil national team won the last edition of the Copa America.

Since it was announced that Brazil would host the 2021 Copa America, Conmebol has been under attack for moving the competition to Brazil which is also battling an upsurge in coronavirus cases just like Argentina, and also experiencing a bit of political uprising.

As of the last check, Brazil has 1,120,077 active coronavirus cases while the country have recorded 462,966 coronavirus-related deaths. It is even more alarming that Brazilians are said not to be following coronavirus restrictions and President Bolsonaro has not deemed it fit to announce stringent restrictions to control the spread of the virus.

Hence, it is believed that Brazil is not also safe to host Copa America. The country might only be able to host it under strict protocols and all the games will be played behind closed doors.

At the time of publishing this report, Conmebol and Brazilian authorities were yet to announce the venues of the competition and the protocols that will be followed if the competition is not canceled as it is being advised.


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