Mastercard and the beer giant Ambev announced this Wednesday that they will not be present at the America’s Cup-2021 in Brazil, which is being questioned – even in court – due to the advance of covid-19 in the second country with the most deaths in the world from this disease.
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The credit card issuer reported in a statement that, “after a careful analysis”, it decided not to “activate” its sponsorship of the Copa América-2021 in
Brazil, withdrawing its logo from the continental tournament.
The decision means that Mastercard will not place its logo in stadiums, or on promotional material in Brazil. However, he will honor his contract as a tournament sponsor, the value of which was not disclosed.
A company spokesperson told AFP news agency that it is the first time that Mastercard has made such a decision since it began sponsoring the South American soccer championships in 1992.
Later, the Brazilian group Ambev, which is part of the global giant AB Invev, reported in a brief statement that “its brands will not be present at the Copa América.”
“The company continues with its commitment and support to Brazilian soccer,” he said without offering further details.
The organizers have faced various obstacles to materialize this edition of the Copa América, the oldest national team tournament in the world, which has been held since 1916. After postponing the Copa América for 12 months due to the pandemic, Conmebol looked for a host country when Argentina and Colombia, the original hosts, gave up due to the advance of the coronavirus in the first and violent protests in the second.
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Running against the clock, because the opening match is scheduled for this Sunday, the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro approved the holding of the
Cup in Brazil, which hosted the last edition of the continental tournament in 2019.
However, the decision is controversial: Brazil has been hit hard by covid-19, with more than 475,000 deaths, the second worst global balance in absolute numbers. Experts say that the country is currently facing a new outbreak of the pandemic, with an increase in cases, and that the celebration of the sporting event that includes ten nations could worsen the situation.
The Supreme Court of Brazil must evaluate this Thursday two requests to prevent the holding of the championship, scheduled to be played without an audience in four cities – Rio de Janeiro, Cuiabá, Brasilia and Goiania – from June 13 to July 10.
The appeals were presented to the courts by an opposition party and by a national union and argue that the tournament represents a threat against the spread of covid-19 and could “violate the fundamental rights to life and health.”