South America’s football confederation CONMEBOL has announced that Argentina is no longer able to host this summer’s Copa America and that alternatives are being considered less than two weeks out from kick-off. Instead the tournament will be moved to Brazil.
The 10-nation South American tournament was due to be held in Argentina and Colombia between June 13-July 10 with joint hosts for the first time ever.
However, Colombia was removed as a host in late May due to political unrest across the country and Argentina is now unable to fulfil its role due to “present circumstances” with a major surge in COVID cases.
“CONMEBOL is analyzing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament,” read a brief statement. “Updates will be announced soon.”
When that update came, it was a surprise announcement that the tournament would be shifted to Brazil, with dates, locations and venues to come.
Some players already back in South America from Europe to prepare for the tournament have expressed their doubts and Atletico Madrid’s Uruguay international Luis Suarez urged authorities to “give priority to the health of human beings.”
CONMEBOL secretary general Gonzalo Belloso said last week that Chile could be an option for some games while organizers are not keen on the cancellation of the event because of its financial importance.
The 2019 Copa America in Brazil brought in $118 million and was second only to the continental equivalent of Europe’s UEFA CHmapions League: Copa Libertadores.
Each competing nation this year will receive at least $4 million with an additional $10 million for the winner, per CONMEBOL.