Coronavirus: Orphaned by its two headquarters, Copa America hangs in the balance. sport

Coronavirus: Orphaned by its two headquarters, Copa America hangs in the balance.  sport
The Argentina national team celebrates a goal in the 2019 Copa America played in Brazil.Elle Cabral / Getty

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2021 Copa America’s plans suffered another setback. Conmembol, the governing body of South American football, withdrew the tournament’s location from Argentina due to the Covid-19 crisis in the country. In the wake of the social instability that shook the country last month, these same officers removed the headquarters of Colombia on 20 May. Conmebol guarantees that it will evaluate proposals from other countries for the tournament to be held at the last minute starting on June 13.

The maximum tournament for football teams in the US will be held in 2020. The epidemic frustrated the organization of the competition, which was scheduled to be held in two host countries: Argentina and Colombia. This will be the first time the two places will share a tournament match. In 2021, with the introduction of vaccination against coronaviruses, the picture seemed unclear. On April 28, protests began in Colombia against tax reform proposed by President Evan Duke. The performance increased despite Duke withdrawing the bill. After a month of trouble, more than 50 people are reported to have been killed and thousands injured in clashes between police and protesters.

The Colombian government asked Conmembol to postpone Copa America. The South American body immediately rejected the measure and announced that Argentina would take over the entire tournament. The Alberto Fernandez government was cautious about organizing the event due to the health crisis. Argentina faces a second wave of Covid-19, which has added more than 3.7 million infections and more than 77,000 deaths since the onset of the epidemic. Argentina has reported more than 380,000 infections in the last 14 days. On this Sunday, hours before Conmembol’s announcement, the Argentine interior minister, Eduardo de Pedro, indicated that it was “very difficult” for the tournament to be there.

Before Argentina stops being headquartered, Conmembol began receiving orders from other countries to host Copa America with better health conditions. One of them is Chile, according to Conmebol Secretary General Gonzalo Belloso. According to TN Media of Argentina, the organization received a proposal from the organizers of the Centennial Edition in the United States, 2016, but it was rejected.

Conmembol maintains the qualifier dates for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, which will take place between 3 and 8 June. Matches will be held without spectators due to sanitary emergency.

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About the author: Sarah Gracie

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