Brazil to host Copa America

BREAKING: Brazil to host Copa America
Photo: A.Paes/Shutterstock

Brazil will host the 2021 Copa America, the region’s premier international football tournament. South American football confederation Conmebol confirmed the news on Twitter this morning.

The 2021 edition was originally set to take place in Colombia and Argentina. On May 20, Colombia pulled out due to a continuing wave of protests and social unrest. Yesterday, it was Argentina’s turn — as the country battles a dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths. 

The Brazilian government celebrated the decision, believing that hosting the tournament will boost tourism revenue. When the country hosted the 2019 Copa America, the number of foreign tourists flying to Brazil increased 36 percent.

While Brazil’s current pandemic situation doesn’t seem as dramatic as Argentina’s, experts have alerted to a looming third coronavirus wave. Multiple cities have enacted new strict restrictions.

It remains unclear whether supporters will be allowed to attend matches at the hastily rearranged tournament. Conmebol has pushed for a reduced percentage of fans in all stadiums, but Brazil’s national football tournament is currently being played behind closed doors.

South America remains the world’s biggest coronavirus hotbed in terms of new daily cases per capita.