The United States could host the 2021 Copa América
CONMEBOL has officially ruled out Colombia as hosts of the tournament due to the civil unrest while Argentina is suffering a new wave of coronavirus.
The Copa América was supposed to be held jointly by Colombia and Argentina in the summer of 2020, but because of the global coronavirus pandemic it was rescheduled for this year. But given recent events it is now looking like there may be yet more alterations prior to the start of the tournament and a possible change of venues.
United States ready to host the Copa América, again
Last week CONMEBOL announced that Colombia will no longer co-host the tournament, because of the civil unrest in the country. “Our organization guarantees the realization of the 2021 Copa América and in the coming days will inform on where the games originally scheduled to be held in Colombia will be played,” read a statement from CONMEBOL.
There are also issues being caused by coronavirus, with the continent seeing a resurgence of covid-19 cases, having now surpassed 3.4 million. In particular, Argentina’s covid-19 daily cases and deaths are rising and the country is currently in lockdown. There is little time to take decisions over the tournament, with the Copa América scheduled to start on 13 June as it celebrates its 105-year history.
The solution that CONMEBOL has in mind is to move the tournament to the United States, a country that is ready to host even a World Cup at the drop of a hat if necessary. According to Telemundo journalist Diego Montalvan, the offer is being analyzed and planners are looking at the situation so it would not clash with the CONCACAF Gold Cup, scheduled to be played in Texas, Orlando, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Phoenix from 10 July to 1 August.
The Copa América is set to start on 13 June and end on 10 July, meaning the US could in principle host both tournaments this summer. A decision however needs to made in the very near future, because a change of this nature would of course change the logistical plans for the teams involved and they have to act quickly. This also means the CONMEBOL tournament might be pushed back a few weeks in order to make it happen and give each team time to prepare.
The good news is that fans will be able to attend the games as many states are preparing to fully open starting 15 June. This would also be the second time in the 105-years of the Copa América that it would be hosted by the United States - the nation held the Copa América Centenario in 2016 and it was a huge success.