THE RESCHEDULED COPA AMERICA KICKED-OFF WITH A DULL ATMOSPHERE SURROUNDING THE TOURNAMENT; THE TEAMS WEREN'T HAPPY AND THIS COULD BE THE WORST EDITION OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN TOURNAMENT.
The outrageous Covid-19 pandemic hindered the world. With the planet forced to stay inside their homes, we came to a standstill. The virus forced all the footballing action to be cancelled for an infinite time. But with the world standing back on its feet, the much-awaited Euro 2020 and Copa America 2021 were announced.
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 3, 2021
As South America’s richest, oldest, and most competitive football jamboree the Copa America screamed its arrival the world poured in with questions. A tournament that should bring back the ecstasy, contentment, and cheerfulness now falls under the category of a ‘Questionable Move.’
With everyone waiting for Lionel Messi to lift one piece of international silverware Copa America’s shift to a covid-stricken Brazil left the players, coaches, and officials in the worst frame of mind. A sombre mood in the South American country is something no one expected. But the question is what’s the reason for the lack of enthusiasm around Copa America?
A DISAPPOINTING DECISION?
Argentina was axed off as hosts because of a huge number of covid-19 cases. Then how did Brazil get the right to organise the South American carnival? The country has constantly been witnessing a high amount of cases and the deaths don’t seem to end in Brazil. With the government’s roadmap coming under the scanner everyone has been asking what’s the point of organising the tournament? Other than money no objective comes to mind.
The 2021 Copa America began on Sunday and by Monday authorities had already confirmed 41 positive coronavirus tests among participants.https://t.co/rYQrDG10nH
— The Brazilian Report (@BrazilianReport) June 15, 2021
If the safety of players would have been thought through the tournament could have easily been organised in a later window. Also, the players who have had a tough season physically, emotionally, and mentally haven’t received a minute of break. Injuries and tiredness looked imminent in the eyes of Neymar, Casemiro, and Messi who have served their clubs honourably the whole year.
🇧🇷 Sempre uma honra e um orgulho enorme defender essa camisa! Parabéns a todo o grupo por mais uma vitória! Estamos todos juntos!
— Casemiro (@Casemiro) June 5, 2021
And after the tournament’s final hosts were acknowledged a few players raised their voice. The Brazilian team suggested that the organising of the tournament comes at the worst possible time. Though representing the Selecao is a matter of pride and they would fight for the success of the yellow jersey till their last breath.
THE BRAZILIAN YELLOW WALL IS MISSING!
Any football team needs its 12th man to uplift them. Try asking teams how difficult it is to go and win at Signal Iduna Park when they are playing in front of the popular Yellow Wall. It’s impossible to get past BVB because of the atmosphere existing in the crowd which the team replicates on the pitch. That’s the thing Brazil will miss this campaign and without the fans, it’s just boring. Leicester’s outstanding FA Cup win in front of hundreds of fans at the Wembley stadium made it more special.
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) May 15, 2021
Or Aguero’s farewell game with the Manchester City supporters clapping for the Argentine made the game memorable. The absence of the Yellow army whenever Brazil faces their rivals could spoil the reigning champions’ party. A disappointing wave of emotions around the Brazilian fans has dented the team’s title hopes.
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 9, 2021
The government’s negligence has also come under the scanner, with the covid-19 cases rocketing sky-high. Hosting the tournament wasn’t the perfect idea by the South American management. And Venezuela having to call a pool of players to replace their A-team suggested why the tournament can be a disappointing one. A covid-19 outbreak in José Peseiro’s La Vinotinto forced him to look for reinforcements which reduced the enthusiasm in the opening match itself.
A COSTLY MUSICAL CHAIRS
Copa America’s 47th edition started with Argentina and Colombia hosting the historic tournament. But as soon as the tournament’s date came close, Colombia decided to leave the hosting rights to Argentina. Constant protests on the streets, wars between the public and government, and continuous fights with the police forced the Colombians to back out of the tournament.
¡Brasil recibirá a la CONMEBOL @CopaAmerica 2021! El mejor fútbol del mundo llevará alegría y pasión a millones de sudamericanos. La CONMEBOL agradece al Presidente @jairbolsonaro y su equipo, así como a la Confederación Brasileña de Fútbol @CBF_Futebol,
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) May 31, 2021
Next in line, Argentina was hosting the tournament all by themselves. Unfortunately, CONMEBOL had to change that decision also, as a covid-19 outbreak in the South American country demanded the teams to find a new place to party. Brazil jumped in to secure the situation by offering to be the party-givers as Copa America’s future hung by a thin thread.
Estas son las sedes de la CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 2021 🏟️
Estas são as sedes da CONMEBOL #CopaAmérica 2021 🏟️
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 2, 2021
Brazil’s attempt to save Copa America’s cancellation proved fruitful as the tournament kicked off perfectly. But to everyone’s surprise, Selecao’s 3-0 victory didn’t unite the country. The football fanatics weren’t screaming on the roads of Rio because they were mourning the deaths of their loved ones. A country hit by covid decided to host a competition which could put the health of the participants at risk. The juggling of host nations spoiled the attitude of players and in the end, it seemed like a forced tournament being held just to extract money during a low-economic tide.
Copa America has kicked off even after receiving waves of criticism. Not only players or pundits, but officials in Brazil have also discredited the tournament. The covid-19 outbreak, empty stadiums, and constantly switching nations have cost CONMEBOL a fortune. The players also looked disinterested and although the teams will look to lift silverware at the end, this edition will not be very fondly remembered.