Copa America 2021: Brazil roped in as new host
The 47th edition of Copa America will now be held in Brazil. The tournament was earlier scheduled to be held in Argentina and Colombia but was dropped as hosts due to political conflicts and the COVID situation, respectively. Brazil hosted the 2019 edition too.
The 2021 Copa America has found a new host within 24 hours of cancellation of the previous hosts, as Brazil was roped in for the same. The country held the last edition in 2019 and also won the tournament for the ninth time.
It would be the sixth time that the high-profile tournament would be held in Brazil. Furthermore, it is the only team in the competition to win every edition as the host.
"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!" said CONMEBOL in a statement.
“The Brazilian government demonstrated agility and decision-making capacity at a fundamental moment for South American football. Brazil is experiencing a moment of stability; it has proven infrastructure and accumulated experience and recently to organize a competition of this magnitude,” said Alejandro Domínguez, CONMEBOL President.
Why the change?
Last week, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) had dropped Colombia as host due to the country's political unrest. On Monday, co-host Argentina was also dropped due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
However, following the announcement, there have been some criticisms. Many have voiced if it was a fair idea to host the tournament in Brazil since the COVID situation in the country is not under control yet.
Dates and teams
Nonetheless, the tournament is set to be played between June 13 to July 10. The ten-team competition would involve the host, along with former hosts Argentine and Colombia, while Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay would light up the tournament.
Meanwhile, Brazil's decision to host the tournament at such short notice does come as a surprise. However, having hosted the competition just a couple of years back, including the FIFA World Cup 2014, the country boasts the infrastructures to conduct the tournament just again.
As of now, the venues for the same are yet to be confirmed. However, according to Goal, Brasilia, Manaus and Natal are sure to host it. Also, Rio de Janerio is expected to host the final.
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