'It's everyone' - Casemiro suggests entire Brazil team united against hosting Copa America
Brazil captain Casemiro has suggested his team is united against hosting the Copa America.
The midfielder, speaking after a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador on Friday, said more would be explained soon but suggested that "it's everyone, including (manager) Tite" taking the stance. He promised additional information would be provided following the squad's clash with Paraguay on June 8, declining for now to confirm a specific reason for the players' anger out of respect for the Brazilian Football Confederation hierarchy.
Many people in Brazil are upset about football coming to the country right now amid still-high Covid case totals. The competition was moved to Brazil by organisers last week after original co-hosts Argentina and Colombia were pulled from their duties. Argentina is dealing with its own Covid crisis, while Colombia has been shaken in recent months by political unrest.
What has been said?
"Everyone knows our position in the Copa America in Brazil," the captain said following the Ecuador match. "It could not be clearer. We want to express our opinion more after the game against Paraguay [on June 8].
"It's not just me, not just the players who play in Europe. It's everyone, including Tite. All together."
The day before the Ecuador contest, Casemiro had declined to talk to reporters, while Tite made the first indication of displeasure in the Brazilian camp.
When is the Copa America scheduled to start?
The tournament is supposed to start on June 13. If Brazilian players don't speak about the issue again until after the Paraguay game, as Casemiro has suggested will be the case, then there would be just a five-day window for CONMEBOL to react to their statement before action kicks off.
Despite reports of a potential boycott, it's worth noting that no one in the organisation has publicly identified that as an option. Everyone has remained intentionally private about the behind-the-scenes conversations taking place.