Copa America 2021 is in serious jeopardy after the South American football body CONMEBOL has ruled out Argentina as the tournament's hosts.
The announcement was made late on Sunday amidst a rising number of Coronavirus cases in Argentina.
A statement was released on Twitter that confirmed that Argentina had been removed as the hosts, and that the hosting rights will go to one of the countries that showed interest in holding the quadrennial event.
The Copa America was supposed to kick-off on June 12th, after being delayed by a year, but it remains to be seen if it will still be held on time.
USA said to be in the running to host Copa America 2021
Meanwhile, the pandemic in Argentina has worsened, as a nationwide lockdown was announced last week to curb infections. Argentina recorded a seven-day average of 35,000 cases and around 500 deaths.
As many as 77,000 people have lost their lives due to the virus in Argentina, and the need to effectively curb the virus means the country cannot risk holding a tournament as big as the Copa America.
Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela have offered to host the Copa America, but a report by Telemundo’s Diego Montalvan (via NBC Sports) claims that the whole tournament could be held in the USA.
Although the USA is hosting the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June, it has been claimed that the dates will not clash too much, and that the Copa America games will not be held in cities and in stadiums that will host the Gold Cup.
It remains to be seen how the logistical factors will be dealt with in the coming weeks. Copa America will likely be delayed as the South American footballing body CONMEBOL assesses its options in the coming days.
The Copa America Centenario brought in large audiences to stadiums when it was held in the USA in 2016, so shifting the competition to the north might be a good option as things stand.
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