Copa America moved from Argentina to Brazil


CONMEBOL named Brazil as the host nation of the 47th Copa America on Monday.

The decision was made less than 24 hours after South America’s football governing body announced Argentina would no longer stage the event that is due to start on June 13 and last until July 10.

A CONMEBOL statement read: “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 thrill the entire continent!”

CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said it was a unanimous decision that the council took to have Brazil as the host nation. He also thanked original co-hosts Argentina and Colombia and stated that opportunities will come along for the two countries to stage events in the future.

Brazil are the holders of the competition, having won it on home soil in 2019.

CONMEBOL cited “the present circumstances” as the reason for Argentina’s withdrawal as hosts, with the country having experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases. There were 348 deaths reported on Sunday and 21,346 new infections.

CONMEBOL, reluctant to cancel the tournament for a second straight year after the 2020 event was not held due to the pandemic, acted quickly with less than two weeks to go before the start of the competition.

The tournament involving 10 South American countries, was originally set to be staged by Argentina and Colombia, the first time in its 105-year history to have joint hosts.

Colombia had a request to have the tournament postponed rejected by CONMEBOL and pulled out as co-hosts on May 20 due to social and economic unrest in the nation.

Lionel Messi‘s Argentina are scheduled to open the tournament against Chile on June 13, while Brazil begin their title defence against Venezuela one day later.

South American teams are also preparing for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that were originally scheduled to be played in March but were postponed because of coronavirus travel restrictions.

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