Brazil replaces Argentina as the new hosts of the Copa America 2021, Latin American football federation CONMEBOL confirmed officially.
Earlier today, CONMEBOL declared that Argentina will no longer host this summer’s Copa América due to COVID-19 concerns. The 2021 tournament had lost its other co-host, Colombia, 10 days earlier. The most viable alternative, the United States, who had previously hosted a special centenary edition of the tournament in 2016 but only as a participant were mooted as the frontrunners to take over the event. It has three times been a playing guest in the South American competition but has never hosted without fielding a team.
Copa America this year is now officially handed over to Brazil
The 2021 edition of Copa America was till now without a viable host nation less than two weeks before it kicks off. Notably, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), on Sunday, revealed that Argentina will no longer host Copa America 2021.The tournament, featuring 10 South American nations, was due to take place in Argentina and Colombia from June 13 to July 10.
CONMEBOL said earlier on Sunday that Argentina’s hosting of the Copa America football tournament has been suspended “in view of the current circumstances,” , as the country endures a record coronavirus surge. The South American football body, which last week stripped Colombia of co-hosting duties over deadly unrest, said it was considering other offers to hold the tournament. “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.
It also comes after Argentina had to suspend its domestic football season until at least May 30 due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Argentine government had imposed a strict lockdown earlier this month amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country. The death toll crossed the 77,000-mark on Saturday, while over 29,000 new cases were reported. CONMEBOL (The South American Football Confederation) added that it will analyze what other countries who have expressed interest in hosting the tournament have to offer.
“CONMEBOL is analysing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament,” it said in a short statement. “Updates will be announced soon.”
The CONMEBOL, on May 20, had removed Colombia as the co-host, considering the wave of protests demanding social and economic change across the country. Colombia had lost its co-hosting duties amid unrest and protests over the country’s handling of the pandemic, which became worse when, River Plate, had a trip to Colombia disrupted by street demonstrations as they played against local side Junior in the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League.
United States, Chile and Paraguay were leading the race to host the tournament, but now it has been officially handed over to Brazil to host by the CONMEBOL, who are ironically are in a far worse position, and is actually worse affected than Argentina and has the second most Covid deaths in the world. The 2021 Copa America will be hosted by Brazil on just 13 days notice, confirmed the CONMEBOL.
“The CONMEBOL @CopaAmerica 2021 will be played in Brazil! Tournament start and end dates are confirmed. The venues and the fixture will be informed by CONMEBOL in the next few hours. The oldest national team tournament in the world will make the whole continent vibrate!” confirmed CONMEBOL in its tweet.
“Brazil will host CONMEBOL @CopaAmerica 2021! The best soccer in the world will bring joy and passion to millions of South Americans. CONMEBOL thanks the President @jairbolsonaro and his team, as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation @CBF_Futebol” added the Federation.
Conmebol announced that Brazil will host the tournament which will start on June 13 and will end on July 11. The start and end dates of the tournament are confirmed and the cities and matches will be defined soon. Brazil has already hosted the 2019 Copa and are now set to be the epicenter of South American national team football once again.