Copa America has no host: Argentina ruled out due to coronavirus

Representative image

Copa America is without a host country only two weeks before kickoff after South American soccer body CONMEBOL ruled out Argentina amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The announcement Sunday night casts doubt on a tournament which has faced major hurdles since the start of the pandemic in March of last year.

CONMEBOL said on Twitter and it was later confirmed by an official that it was analyzing "the offer of other nations who showed interest in hosting the continental tournament," without naming them.

It also said a new host will be announced "soon."

Copa America is scheduled to be played between June 13 and July 10. South American teams are already training for the tournament and two rounds of World Cup qualifiers are starting this week.

Like other continental tournaments, Copa America was initially scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its postponement. But difficulties mounted as the virus continued to strike the region hard and vaccine rollout remained slow.

Argentina is facing a surge of coronavirus infections, with strict lockdown measures imposed last weekend amid a seven-day average of 35,000 cases and 500 deaths. More than 77,000 people have died in the country due to the disease, as the virus continues to spread.

Colombia was dropped as a tournament co-host on May 20 amid a wave of protests against President Ivn Duque.

Argentinian President Alberto Fernndez said last week that his country was ready to host the entire tournament after the decision to remove Colombia. But on Sunday that situation changed.

"It is very hard that Copa America is played in Argentina due to the epidemiologic alert situation," said Wado de Pedro, the country's interior minister, in an interview to TV C5N.

The original idea of this Copa America was to start a new format with five teams based in each of the host countries. Group A features Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay; Group B includes Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The four best teams in each group would advance to the knockout stage, and the final was originally set to played in Colombia's Barranquilla.

It would have been the first Copa America hosted by two countries.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, and Australia, both scheduled to play as guests, decided in February to withdraw also due to the coronavirus pandemic.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel