Copa America is with no host nation solely two weeks earlier than kickoff after South American soccer physique CONMEBOL dominated out Argentina amid a rise in COVID-19 instances within the nation.
The announcement Sunday night time casts doubt on a event which has confronted main hurdles for the reason that begin of the pandemic in March of final yr.
CONMEBOL stated on Twitter — and it was later confirmed by an official — that it was analyzing “the provide of different nations who confirmed curiosity in internet hosting the continental event,” with out naming them. It additionally stated a brand new host can be introduced “quickly.”
Copa America is scheduled to be performed between June 13 and July 10. South American groups are already coaching for the event and two rounds of World Cup qualifiers are beginning this week.
Like different continental tournaments, Copa America was initially scheduled for 2020, however the COVID-19 pandemic compelled its postponement. However difficulties mounted because the virus continued to strike the area laborious and vaccine rollout remained sluggish.
Argentina is going through a surge of coronavirus infections, with strict lockdown measures imposed final weekend amid a seven-day common of 35,000 instances and 500 deaths. Greater than 77,000 individuals have died within the nation as a result of illness, because the virus continues to unfold.
Colombia was dropped as a event co-host on Might 20 amid a wave of protests in opposition to President Ivan Duque.
Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez stated final week that his nation was able to host the whole event after the choice to take away Colombia. However on Sunday that state of affairs modified.
“It is extremely laborious that Copa America is performed in Argentina as a result of epidemiologic alert state of affairs,” stated Wado de Pedro, the nation’s inside minister, in an interview to TV C5N.
The unique concept of this Copa America was to start out a brand new format with 5 groups based mostly in every of the host international locations. Group A options Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay; Group B consists of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The 4 finest groups in every group would advance to the knockout stage, and the ultimate was initially set to performed in Colombia’s Barranquilla.
It might have been the primary Copa America hosted by two international locations.
Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, and Australia, each scheduled to play as friends, determined in February to withdraw additionally as a result of coronavirus pandemic.