WITHtwo weeks before the opening game between Argentina and Chile, the Copa America is without a host. Due to the acute corona situation on site, Conmebol also withdrew Argentina from the tournament for the South American Championship (June 13th to July 11th) on late Sunday evening. On May 20, the association withdrew Colombia as co-host in the face of violent civil unrest. A new organizer should now be found as quickly as possible.
“Conmebol is analyzing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament. News in this direction will be announced shortly, “said the Paraguay-based umbrella organization of the ten South American football nations shortly before 10 p.m. local time in an initial statement on Twitter. Just a few minutes earlier, after a meeting with President Alberto Fernandez in an interview with the TV broadcaster C5N, Argentina’s Interior Minister Wado de Pedro announced: “From a hygienic point of view, we consider it difficult to be played in Argentina.”
The Copa America is scheduled to run from June 13th to July 10th – parallel to the European Football Championships – be carried out. It is the traditional continental championship of the national teams in South America.
After the end of Colombia, Chile had already been named as a possible replacement. The 2015 Copa hosts have the pandemic best under control on the continent. There is also speculation about relocation to Brazil, the venue for the previous tournament in 2019, and Paraguay, Conmebol headquarters and the best possible vaccination location for the 50,000 vaccine ampoules donated to the association by the Chinese laboratory Sinovac.
Argentina is currently going through the worst phase since the corona outbreak more than a year ago. On Thursday, Argentina registered a maximum number of new corona infections with 41,080 – despite the tough lockdown enacted by Prime Minister Fernandez on May 20th. On the same day, because of the bloody protests against the government in the country, Colombia asked for the Copa to be postponed until the end of the year, and the Conmebol then withdrew the country’s host role.
Since the end of April there have been numerous protests and riots in various cities in Colombia. So far, according to the latest information from the national ombudsman, at least 44 people have died in connection with the protests, many as a result of police violence.