Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-31 16:31:14 –
Sao Paulo (AP) — Brazil hosts Copa America twice in a row after Colombia and Argentina have been stripped …
Sao Paulo (AP) — Brazil hosts the Copa America for the second year in a row after Colombia and Argentina have been deprived of their tournament rights. The COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Alejandro Dominguez, chairman of the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL), announced the move on Monday after Argentina was excluded as the number of people infected with the new coronavirus increased in the country. Colombia was removed from co-sponsorship on May 20 as street protests against President Ivan Duque shook the country.
CONMEBOL added that the tournament has been confirmed to take place from June 13th to July 10th. Brazil is a defending champion and won the tournament as the host country in 2019.
“The host city and equipment will be confirmed by CONMEBOL within hours. The world’s oldest international convention will liven up the entire continent!” Said a South American organization. “CONMEBOL would like to thank President Jair Bolsonaro (of Brazil) and his team, and the Brazilian Football Federation for opening the door to the country for the safest sporting event in the world today. South America It will shine on every star in Brazil. ”
The Brazilian Football Federation did not respond to the Associated Press’s request for comment. Also, the national team press conference scheduled for Monday at the Granja Comary training ground on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro was cancelled.
Dominguez also thanked the Brazilian president, who challenged the limitation of social distance and called for a return to normal life despite the delay in the spread of the vaccine.
“The Brazilian government has instantly demonstrated the agility and decision-making skills that are fundamental to South American football,” Dominguez said. He added that Brazil “lives a moment of stability, has proven infrastructure and has accumulated recent experience in hosting tournaments of this size.”
Thousands of Brazilians protested Bolsonaro on the streets on Saturday, and many observers said the same could happen in Copa America. In Brazil, the big Confederations Cup in 2013 A large-scale street demonstration was held.
More than 460,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, the second highest number after the United States. Many analysts expect another wave of the disease to hit the country by the end of June. In many hospitals, more than 80% of intensive care units are victims of the virus.
Scientists have expressed concern about the decision to hold a tournament in a country dominated by more contagious variants of the virus. So far, the Brazilian municipality has not acknowledged the presence of fans at the stadium, but Bolsonaro likes it.
To journalists in the capital Brasilia, Vice President Hamilton Mourão said playing in an empty stadium would reduce the risk of the tournament.
“Isn’t there attendance? It doesn’t matter if there are no attendees,” Mouron said. “All you have to do is divide the host city well. That’s it.”
However, some governors opposed hosting matches in the states, including the 2014 World Cup hosts Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte.
Miguel Nicolelis, a prominent Brazilian neuroscientist, has expressed opposition to the tournament in Brazil on Twitter.
“Who can issue an injunction to the Supreme Court to stop another attack on Brazilians? The Copa America will take place the moment COVID kills 500,000 people. You don’t need the above circus, you need the vaccine and the government, “writes Nicoleris.
Former Minister of Health, Congressman Alexander Padilla, said the left-wing Workers Party would submit such an injunction. Other lawmakers also promised to follow the proceedings in a local court.
Dr. Dennis Garrett of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a non-profit organization advocating improved access to vaccines, told AP that he was also opposed to the competition in the country.
“This poses a greater risk of viral infections in the country because of gatherings, greater circulation of people, and more interaction,” she said. “And Brazil is also another country. There is also the risk of introducing new variants that may accompany athletes and workers.
The South American team is already training for the tournament, and this week the two rounds of World Cup qualifying will begin.
Like other continental tournaments, Copa America was originally scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to be postponed.
The 2020 edition of Copa America was to introduce a new format with five teams based in Colombia and Argentina. Group A includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, and Group B includes Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The top four teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage, and the finals were initially planned for Barranquilla, Colombia.
It was the first Copa America hosted by two countries.
Qatar, the host country of the 2022 World Cup, and Australia, a guest, have decided to withdraw in February due to a coronavirus pandemic.
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