Brazil confirmed as last-minute host for 2021 Copa America as four venues revealed

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Brazil will host the 2021 Copa America in four venues across the country, chief of staff Luiz Ramos confirmed on Tuesday. 

CONMEBOL revealed on Monday that the South American tournament would return to Brazil, which was also the host of the last event in 2019. 

The last-minute change was made after both Argentina and Colombia withdrew from hosting duties due to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and, in the case of the latter, ongoing social unrest.

What was said? 

"The Copa America in Brazil is confirmed," Ramos wrote on Twitter. 

"Coherence has won out. Brazil, which hosts the Libertadores, Sudamericana, not to mention the state and Brazilian Championship, cannot close its doors to such a traditional competition as this."

Which cities will host the Copa?

Ramos also revealed that four states in Brazil will receive matches, which will all be behind closed doors. 

The Federal District, which contains the nation's capital Brasilia, Mato Grosso, Rio de Janeiro and Goias, will welcome South America's best players between June 13 and July 10. 

The venues have been chosen in large part to avoid stadiums where the top-tier Serie A, which will continue throughout the Copa, is taking place. 

Many states have also publicly declined to hold Copa games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with South America currently the world's hardest-hit region. 

While Ramos did not specify which stadiums have been chosen, Rio de Janeiro's Estadio Maracana will likely hold only the final, with the two groups based in one or more of the three additional states. 

Who will compete in the 2021 Copa?

The Copa America was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 with 12 participating nations. 

The pandemic forced a 12-month postponement, and guest countries Australia and Qatar subsequently withdrew due to scheduling conflicts in 2021, leaving CONMEBOL's 10 member nations. 

Those countries are split into two groups: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay are in Group A, which was originally to be played in Argentina; while Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela make up Group B, intended for Colombia. 

Four teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-final stage, with the first round concluding on June 27 and 28.

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