Copa America 2021: With just 15 days left for the Copa America 2021 and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) is yet to finalise the venues for the tournament. It was scheduled to take place in Argentina and Colombia but CONMEBOL removed the latter as the co-host due to civil unrest in the country. Instead, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez amongst others are now expected to play the tournament in Argentina and Chile. It is slated to kick off on June 13.
Copa America, originally scheduled for 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the situation in Colombia being precarious due to civil unrest, CONMEBOL has decided to look at other options. While Argentina will “surely” host the matches, Chile could be the other option as per Gonzalo Belloso, CONMEBOL’s Secretary-General.
“We are in the process of analysis. Despite the little time remaining, we are managing to stay calm and make a decision next week. We have spoken with Chile, which could take over the part left by Colombia,” Gonzalo Belloso, CONMEBOL’s Secretary General told Argentina’s Radio Red as per a Reuters report.
Copa America 2021: While teams have already begun practising, they are still unsure whether the tournament will at all go on. Argentina is currently under a strict 10-day lockdown due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. The country has registered over 35,000 new cases as of May 26. The situation in other South American countries is grim as well with Brazilian yet to recover from its first wave with constant cases of over 80,000 daily. Chile, the possible co-host is also witnessing a surge in the number of cases with over 8,000 new cases on May 27.
However, despite the surge in virus cases, CONMEBOL is looking to go ahead with the tournament.
Copa America 2021: “Argentina will surely be the organizer of part of the Copa as was agreed. It may be one part in Chile and another in Argentina, or all in one country,” Belloso said.
On Thursday, the Argentine government issued a statement saying that it had issued the protocols to host all the 28 games in the country while the public health ministry is still studying the proposal.
Copa America 2021: It was also proposed that due to the surge in cases, Copa America 2021 be moved to the US. However, the continental body hasn’t yet officially announced anything in that regard yet. If it is to take place in the US, it will be the second time since 2016 when the US hosted the Copa América Centenario with Chile defeating Argentina on penalties in the final. Earlier, two invited teams — Qatar and Australia — pulled out of Copa America due to the COVID-19 pandemic.