The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) announced on Sunday that Argentina would no longer host the Copa America, putting the tournament’s future in jeopardy just 13 days before it was scheduled to begin.
The tournament, which featured ten South American nations, was scheduled to take place in Argentina and Colombia from June 13 to July 10, and it could have been the very first occasion in the tournament’s 105-year history that it would be co-hosted. However, it did not pan out to everyone’s convenience.
¡La CONMEBOL @CopaAmerica 2021 se jugará en Brasil! Las fechas de inicio y finalización del torneo están confirmadas. Las sedes y el fixture serán informados por la CONMEBOL en las próximas horas. ¡El torneo de selecciones más antiguo del mundo hará vibrar a todo el continente!— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) May 31, 2021
Earlier, Colombia took an exit from the hosting duties with the rapidly increasing COVID-19 wildfire. The responsibility thus fell into the hands to Argentina posterior to that. Now, a new dilemma had surfaced, with Argentina also being unfortunately forced out of the picture.
With the pandemic still causing carnage in South America and Colombia coping with anti-government riots, there was a formidable possibility that an event that had already been delayed, would have to be rescheduled.
To CONMEBOL’s fortune, Brazil stepped up to host the tournament after Argentina and Colombia were unable to fulfil their commitments as hosts of the 2021 Copa America owing to civil instability and Covid-19 issues. CONMEBOL, on the other hand, has taken decisive action and stated that the 2019 tournament hosts will step up once more in the federation’s hour of need.
Brazil were Copa America champions in 2019 (via The Guardian)
The South American association in an official statement said, “The CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 will be played in Brazil. Tournament start and end dates are confirmed. The venues and the fixture list will be informed by CONMEBOL in the next few hours. The oldest national team tournament in the world will thrill the entire continent.”
Argentina and Colombia were willing to wait to have their opportunity to host the tournament, but they were still rendered incapable to be the organizing nations. Brazil will now host the 47th edition of Copa America between June 13 and July 10. Argentine and Colombian national teams will join Brazil despite their respective countries’ inability to host matches. The 10 spots will be occupied by the likes of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Australia and Qatar had to decline owing to the 2022 World Cup qualification matches being rescheduled (they were initially invited as guest participants).