SAO PAULO (AP) — 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 circumstances within the nation.
The announcement Sunday evening casts doubt on a match which has confronted main hurdles because the begin of the pandemic in March of final 12 months.
CONMEBOL mentioned 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 match,” with out naming them. It additionally mentioned a brand new host might be introduced “quickly.”
Copa America is scheduled to be performed between June 13 and July 10. South American groups are already coaching for the match 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 gradual.
Argentina is dealing with a surge of coronavirus infections, with strict lockdown measures imposed final weekend amid a seven-day common of 35,000 circumstances and 500 deaths. Greater than 77,000 individuals have died within the nation because of the illness, because the virus continues to unfold.
Colombia was dropped as a match co-host on Might 20 amid a wave of protests in opposition to President Iván Duque.
Argentinian President Alberto Fernández mentioned final week that his nation was able to host your complete match after the choice to take away Colombia. However on Sunday that scenario modified.
“It is extremely laborious that Copa America is performed in Argentina because of the epidemiologic alert scenario,” mentioned Wado de Pedro, the nation’s inside minister, in an interview to TV C5N.
The unique thought of this Copa America was to start out a brand new format with 5 groups based mostly in every of the host nations. Group A options Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay; Group B contains 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 will have been the primary Copa America hosted by two nations.
Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, and Australia, each scheduled to play as company, determined in February to withdraw additionally because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Argentina dropped by CONMEBOL as Copa America host as a consequence of coronavirus