ASUNCION: South America’s biggest football tournament, the Copa America, was today relocated from Argentina, which is facing an increase in COVID-19 cases to Brazil which is even worse hit by the third wave of the pandemic.
With two weeks left before kick -off, the South American Football Federation via Twitter today said “CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 will take place in Brazil!” and the dates of June 13 – July 10 are retained.
The move has caused concern among many parties.
Brazil is one of the countries worst affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with the second highest death toll in the world at 460,000 so far out of a total population of 212 million and more than 16.5 million cases.
But Brazilian vice -president Hamilton Mourao said hosting the tournament in his country was “less risky” than Argentina, which is facing its toughest moment as a result of the pandemic.
“The main advantage is the size of our country and the number of stadiums. They can distribute matches throughout Brazil,” he said, hoping to reduce the risk of contagion.
The tournament will take place without spectators.
CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said “The Brazilian government is showing decision -making ability at a difficult time for South American football.
“Brazil is experiencing a moment of stability, has good infrastructure and is experienced in hosting tournaments of this size,” he said.
Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup and the last Copa America in 2019.