Copa America in doubt after Argentina pulls out of hosting

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The South American football federation Conmebol has called an emergency meeting over this summer’s rescheduled Copa America after it was announced over the weekend that Argentina would no longer host the competition.

It has been reported that the meeting will take place early this week and that there is a possibility the tournament will be called off.

Earlier this month, Conmebol guaranteed ‘the realisation of the 2021 Copa America’, but it seems much has changed in the last couple of weeks and the possibility of pulling the plug on the whole thing is a real one.

Argentina and Colombia were due to co-host the competition however, due to large-scale protests against the government, the Colombian authorities had requested the tournament be delayed until November, but after that was deemed impossible it was announced they would no longer host any of the fixtures.

On Sunday it was revealed Argentina would no longer play host either, and while the circumstances around the decision were not revealed by Conmebol it is widely thought to be due to the surge in COVID-19 cases the nation is currently experiencing.

Opposition to the tournament taking place in Argentina has grown both within and outside of the government due to safety concerns.

Some of the continent’s most high-profile players, including Luis Suarez, have also spoken out regarding the need to prioritise the safety of the people over any sporting event.

Luis SuarezLuis Suarez
Luis Suarez has spoken about the need to prioritise the safety of the people ahead of Conmebol’s emergency meeting this week | Pool/Getty Images

Last Thursday saw a new record in terms of the number of new cases detected and the country’s death toll reached in excess of 76,000 according to the World Health Organisation.

If the tournament is to take place, Chile are said to be the frontrunners to pick up the baton of hosting, although things should become clearer after the aforementioned meeting.

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