Argentina and Chile should have kicked off the Copa America in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on June 13, but that party is cancelled. The South American football federation (Conmebol) decided last night that Argentina cannot organize the tournament due to the strongly deteriorated corona situation in the country. Conmebol is now rapidly exploring other options.
The Copa America is the South American counterpart of the European Football Championship and therefore the most important national tournament on the South American continent.
In 2019, it was decided that Argentina and Colombia would host the Copa 2021, but a month ago Colombia was canceled due to the unsafe situation in the country. There is great social unrest in Colombia, where protests have been going on for a whole month.
Argentina would therefore only play host, but corona puts a stop to that. Recently, Health Minister Carla Vizzotti had pointed out the difficulties of organizing a tournament at a time when the country of 45 million people is going through its most dire covid situation with more than 40,000 infections a day.
Argentina has had 3.7 million positive cases since the start of the pandemic and mourns 77,000 deaths.
Several other countries are offering themselves, including Chile
Given those circumstances, Conmebol was forced to suspend the organization of the Copa America in Argentina, it said in a tweet.
Conmebol “is currently studying offers from other countries showing interest in hosting the continental tournament”. Chile, the winner of 2015 and 2016 and the organizer of 2015, would be a candidate.