The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has been thrown into a state of dilemma as Argentina is no longer fit to host the forthcoming Copa America.
Initially, Argentina was supposed to co-host the competition with Columbia from June this year. But Columbia was stripped of the hosting rights due to the political uprising in the country.
On Sunday, May 30, 2021, the football confederation announced that Argentina would not be able to host the Copa America about 13 days to the commencement of the tournament which left the competition with no host.
Recall that the international men’s football championship organized by South America’s football ruling body CONMEBOL is scheduled to kick off on June 13 and last until July 10, 2021. But now that Argentina who has been preparing to host the tournament is no longer available, the possibility that the competition would go on as planned is very slim.
Argentina was stripped of the hosting right due to the increasing number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country which makes the country unsafe to stage such a huge football event.
Based on the present situation, CONMEBOL had no choice but to look for a safer country to host the competition which involves 10 countries who are members of the football confederation.
“CONMEBOL is analyzing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament. Updates will be announced soon”, a short statement the confederation issued on Sunday read.
At the time of publishing this report, football associations under CONMEBOL were expected to meet on Monday, May 31, to listen to countries that might be interested in hosting the 47th edition of the Copa America.
If they are not able to get a ready host country soonest, the football confederation might be tempted to postpone the competition further in the year. However, the confederation would not want to postpone it to 2022 because it is a World Cup year.
Recall that before now, Copa America has never had a joint host for the past 105-year of the existence of the competition. Hence, this year’s edition would have marked the first time the competition had a joint host if things had gone as planned.
Now, the priority of CONMEBOL will be to get a new host that will be safe to host the competition under short notice.
Recall that the last edition of the competition was held in Brazil in 2019. The host country won the competition after defeating Peru 3-1 in the final.
Based on reports, the tournament generated $118 million which is the highest amount of revenue the tournament has ever generated in the history of the competition.