CONMEBOL picks Brazil to host 2021 Copa America after scheduling chaos sees event pulled from Colombia and Argentina

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With Argentina and Colombia unable to fulfil their commitments as hosts of the 2021 Copa America due to civil unrest and Covid-19 concerns, CONMEBOL announced on Monday that Brazil has stepped in to stage elite continental competition.

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to cause havoc in South America, and Colombia dealing with anti-government protests, there was a very real threat at one stage that an event which has already been pushed back once would need to be rescheduled again.

CONMEBOL has, however, taken decisive action and announced that the hosts of the 2019 tournament will be stepping up again in the federation's hour of need, although there is still opposition in Brazil over the country's potential role as hosts.

What has CONMEBOL said? 

An official statement reads: "The CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 will be played in Brazil! Tournament start and end dates are confirmed.

"The venues and the fixture list will be informed by CONMEBOL in the next few hours. 

"The oldest national team tournament in the world will thrill the entire continent!"

The response in Brazil

In the aftermath of the announcement, several public figures in Brazil voiced their displeasure with the idea of hosting due to the current coronavirus numbers within the country.

Additionally, residents have been protesting president Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic since Saturday.

City and state authorities in Brazil have questioned whether or not the country should host, with the states of Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco among those to vehemently oppose the idea.

Additionally, General Luiz Eduardo Ramos, Chief of Staff for the Brazilian Government, says that the tournament's move to Brazil is not official just yet.

"Copa Sudamericana and Libertadores, international sports events with matches being played in Brazil and state governors all fighting to host matches," he tweeted. "Then today, when the Government discussed the POSSIBILITY of hosting Copa America in Brazil, incoherent criticism is everywhere."

 

When will the 2021 Copa America take place?

The competition was initially due to take place in June 2020 but was delayed by 12 months due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns that were put in place.

Argentina and Colombia were prepared to be patient, but they have ended up missing out regardless.

Brazil will now stage the 47th Copa America between June 13 and July 10.

They are also holders of a prestigious international prize, having seen off Peru 3-1 to claim a memorable home soil success two years ago.

Which teams are taking part in Copa America 2021?

Brazil will be joined by the national sides of Argentine and Colombia despite their respective nations being unable to stage fixtures.

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Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay complete the 10-team competition.

Australia and Qatar had initially been invited to make guest appearances, but they have had to withdraw due to the rescheduling of 2022 World Cup qualification fixtures in Asia.

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