The largest international football tournament in South America will finally welcome fans into the stadium. The Copa America 2021 final between Argentina and hosts Brazil is set to be played out in front of nearly 7000 fans. The mayor’s office in Rio de Janeiro issued a statement quoting that 10 per cent of the stadium capacity will be filled with fans.
The Brazilian government was widely criticised for its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision to host the tournament at the last moment was criticised and opposed by many. Over a hundred staff working to host the tournament had contacted the virus by June.
Even amidst this chaos, the government had decided to allow fans into the stadium. However, since social distancing was not being maintained the decision was called off. Now, the government has revised its regulations and stated that only invitees could attend the final. Everyone who is invited must also provide a Covid negative certificate which was taken no less than 48 hrs prior.
Inside the stadium, the fans will have to maintain social distancing at all times. To facilitate smooth conduct the size of the attendees was limited to the bare minimum. The players will have been glad that they will get to play at least the Copa America final in front of a crowd and not behind closed doors. With the fans in support, the hosts will be confident that they can defend the title.
THE PANDEMIC SITUATION
Brazil has the highest death toll as a result of the virus barring the United States of America. The President faced heavy criticism for his handling of the pandemic and is under parliamentary investigation. The initial co-hosts of the tournament backed out from hosting the event due to surges of coronavirus cases in Argentina and Colombia. Brazil’s president showed immense support to host the tournament and therefore it was handed over to him.
🇦🇷🤜🤛🇧🇷 Messi vs. Neymar…¡y mucho más!
¿Quiénes son los más destacados de @Argentina y @CBF_Futebol antes de la gran final de la CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆?
🗒️https://t.co/P2jGH9HqKR#VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/H2LGgtlkVs
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 9, 2021
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most severely hit cities by the pandemic. The decision to allow fans came after the official state was released by the organisers; “of operation and accreditation that adopt measures to protect the health of those involved, using appropriate tools to prevent contagion and the propagation of Covid-19.”
The pandemic has claimed 530,344+ deaths in the country and even the initial decision to host the tournament was questionable. The current decision to allow fans into the stadium, although the welcome is still under scrutiny by the opposition. The city’s mortality rate from the virus is 432 per 100,000 inhabitants, almost double the 252/100,000 countrywide figure.
Brazil & India have among the highest corona cases.
Brazil put money in people's hands.
India put money in the financial system
Brazil cushioned the economic shock; lowest poverty in its history.
India increased poverty; worst GDP in its historyhttps://t.co/oQXexKOeMi
— Praveen Chakravarty (@pravchak) September 4, 2020
Several players have also been tested positive for the virus during the course of the tournament. This decision to allow fans albeit protocols is questionable. If there is any mishap in the conduct there could be serious repercussions. The fans will be spread throughout the stadium which has the capability to accommodate 78,000 spectators.
BRAZIL VS ARGENTINA
Brazil vs Argentina matchup is one of the most highly anticipated fixtures in world football. Two of the best teams in South America will go head-to-head in the finals. Spearheaded by a motivated Messi and an in-form Neymar, the affair is set to be a spicy encounter. The added benefit of fans in the stadium is likely to make the fixture more enticing. As Euro 2020 has shown, the presence of fans can make a huge difference to the outcome.
¿DE QUIÉN SERÁ? 🤔
Argentina 🇦🇷 o Brasil 🇧🇷 agregarán su nombre al hermoso trofeo de la CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆
DE QUEM VAI SER? 🤔
Argentina 🇦🇷 ou Brasil 🇧🇷 colocarão seu nome no belo troféu da CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 🏆#VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/lP1tvH8aLJ
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 9, 2021
Empty stadiums in Brazil have witnessed some scintillating football from these two teams. Brazil’s craze for the beautiful game is eternal and the efforts being taken by all involved reflect the same.