A tournament expected of having high-intensity matches, flying South American defenders, and flamboyant tricksters orchestrating their magic, the latest chapter of Copa America has turned out to be boring for the fans.
When you know that this Copa America campaign could be the last time Lionel Messi dons a sky blue and white outfit you would surely turn out to watch him in action. But unfortunately, Messi’s garishness hasn’t attracted the Brazilian crowd.
But as Brazil prepares for its quarter-finals clash with Chile you would expect a yellow wave to engulf the stadium. Well! The truth is that the Selecao hasn’t received a minute of support from the fans they have loved.
From a crying Brazilian fan after Brazil’s shambolic 7-1 defeat to Germany or an elated woman in yellow after the South American’s Copa America victory, the yellow flock hasn’t disappointed.
We at FootTheBall take a look at why Copa America has lost the interest in the hearts of the South American fans?
COVID-19 THE ENEMY
The biggest and the strongest reason for a low South American turnout is the wrongly scheduled Copa America. Argentina and Colombia were jointly hosting the tournament for the first time in its colossal history. But brutal street fights in Colombia shifted the competition to only Argentina. Rising cases because of the covid-19 pandemic caused a wildfire throughout the country shifting the tournament once again.
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 18, 2021
Brazil popped in to earn the hosting rights for the tournament. But rising Covid cases in the country sent shockwaves throughout the world. The world questioned why Brazil hosted the tournament with covid going around? While the Brazilian spectators mourned the death of their loved ones, the Brazilian government announced the establishment of the South American fiesta.
“We had a big [health] problem earlier this year, but the city is calmer now. A lot of people are back out on the streets and the bars are open again. It’s almost normal. People here love football, so there’s a lot of talk about the local teams Remo and Paysandu. But I haven’t observed any enthusiasm for the Selecao or the Copa America.”
The covid cases never reduced even after doses of vaccination were given to every team. Venezuela suffered an outbreak on the eve of the tournament. The Brazilian roster was against the hosting of the tournament and was about to throw in the towel.
The government was juggling between the rules and the pandemic bubbles while the left-wing objected to their decisions. The people pleaded to the government to shift Copa America from Brazil to any other South American country or find a new window for the tournament.
⚽😍¡QUÉ POCO FALTA!
👉Los cuartos de la CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆 están cada vez más cerca y éstos son los historiales, números y curiosidades de los 4 duelos.
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 1, 2021
But the money-minded Brazilian government decided to carry on with the tournament. An under the weather and boring Copa America campaign was encountered with immense backlash with the world pouring down with questions asking why CONMEBOL can’t reschedule the tournament or host it in another nation?
A BOMBASTIC EURO 2020
After months of waiting, the rescheduled Euro 2020 kicked off with vicious expectations. But the summer of football has crossed one’s imagination with teams conquering unexpected turns at every destination. 4 favourites to lift the silverware bowed out in the round-of-16, the underdogs are writing history, and the chants of ‘It’s Coming Home’ have submerged Wembley and England. The 16th instalment of the Euros hasn’t been monotonous at all. While the sombre South American tournament has deluded the fans, the European summer has exhilarated them.
The fans have switched to watching the Czech Republic demolish a Dutch wall, or the reigning champions being kicked out by Belgium’s golden generation. The Brazilian Samba or the poaching duo of Uruguay hasn’t been the source of happiness for the Copa America fans. But the loyalty of these fans can not be questioned. Would you wanna watch a start-stop Argentina vs Uruguay game that ends 1-0 or Switzerland’s fairytale re-construction against world-champion France in the last 10 minutes?
Or would you prefer watching a dominant Brazilian side score tap-ins while demolishing a covid-struck Venezuela squad or Pattrick Schick score a mouth-watering goal from the half-line? The momentous incidents the Euro has produced edges out a boring Copa America edition making the South American fans switch channels.