This summer’s Copa América will be moved to Brazil, CONMEBOL announced Monday, after losing both of its co-hosts in the last two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. Argentina was dropped as a host on Sunday, 10 days after Colombia was removed.
CONMEBOL (The South American Football Confederation) said the schedule for the tournament, which was originally set to span from June 13 to July 10, will be announced later Monday. Brazil has hosted the event five times previously, most recently in 2019.
The decision to remove Argentina came after the country had to suspend its domestic football season until at least May 30 due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Argentina is enduring one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks on the planet, behind only neighboring Uruguay and Paraguay in deaths per 100,000 people, and its government decided over the weekend that hosting the Copa would not be safe or feasible.
Originally, Copa América was set to start in Argentina and the champion was to be crowned at the final in Colombia. It would have been the first Copa América hosted by two countries.
Colombia lost its co-hosting duties amid unrest and protests over the country’s handling of the pandemic, coming to a head when one of the biggest clubs in Argentina, 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.
Image via AFP