Argentina is reeling under a deadly wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and, as a result has been ruled out as the hosts of the quadrennial Copa America tournament by CONMEBOL.
Earlier Colombia had also been deprived of the opportunity of hosting the event after the South American nation witnessed massive anti-government protests and vehement opposition of the government’s policy changes due to the pandemic
FootTheBall takes a look at the world’s oldest international tournament as it is devoid of any host country as of now and in danger of being cancelled altogether if no one steps forward to host the event
CONMEBOL ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING COPA AMERICA 2021
CONMEBOL, the governing body of football in South America, issued a statement confirming that Argentina had been scrapped as hosts of Copa America 2021 in view of the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had had on the country.
“CONMEBOL informs that in view of the current circumstances it has decided to suspend the organization of the Copa America in Argentina” the governing body tweeted. “CONMEBOL is evaluating the offer of other countries that showed interest in hosting the continental tournament”
A CONMEBOL informa que, em atenção às circunstâncias presentes, resolveu suspender a organização da Copa América na Argentina. A CONMEBOL analisa a oferta de outros países que mostraram interesse em abrigar o torneio continental. Em breve serão anunciadas novidades nesse sentido.
— CONMEBOL 🇧🇷 (@CONMEBOLBR) May 31, 2021
A poll conducted in Argentina made it quite evident that the majority of Argentines are against the idea of their country hosting Copa America 2021 as the South American nation is in the grip of the worst phase of the Covid-19 pandemic ever since it began last year.
ARGENTINA PLACED UNDER LOCKDOWN AMIDST COVID-19 CRISIS
Less than two weeks remain until the quadrennial tournament kicks off, but Argentina has been put under a nine-day lockdown and is registering record infections on a daily basis.
The 2021 Copa America was originally scheduled to be held in the summer of 2020, but had to be shifted to 2021 owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 across the world.
On 20th May 2021, CONMEBOL rejected a plea filed by Colombia to delay the tournament following a wave of large-scale protests and social unrest in the country that were further worsened by an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases.
It left Argentina as the sole hosts of the tournament until CONMEBOL announced that La Albiceleste too would be incapable of hosting the tournament this summer. As of now CONMEBOL is on the lookout for a new host with less than half a month remaining until the tournament begins.
FATE OF 2021 COPA AMERICA UNCERTAIN
Earlier Chile were being considered to host Copa America 2021 along with Argentina, but the latter’s inability to host has thrown a major stumbling block in the way of the governing body of football in South America. USA has also been considered as a host but whether the arrangements can be made at such short notice is a huge question mark.
The 2021 Copa America features all 10 South American nations including defending champions Brazil. All teams have been divided into two groups of five teams each depending upon their geographical location in South America.
But as of now there is a veil of doubt hanging on the fate of the tournament as no country will be hosting it as things stand right now. Only time will tell whether the tournament goes forward as planned or gets cancelled altogether