COPA AMERICA

Why was the 2021 Copa América played in Brazil instead of Argentina and Colombia?

The reasons behind the South American football confederation's decision to change the original co-hosts of the Continental football championships.

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Why was the 2021 Copa América played in Brazil instead of Argentina and Colombia?

Everything was set for Argentina and Colombia to become first co-hosts of the longest-running national teams' football competition in the world....however political unrest in Colombia and increased public health concerns over the covid-19 pandemic situation in Argentina forced CONMEBOL to look for a new host, just weeks before the official start of the competition.

At first glance, the controversial decision made by the South American football confederation to chose Brazil as an alternative generated a considerable deal of consternation. It seemed like it was another unilateral decision made by the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, offering to take the organization of Copa America. Bolsonaro has long minimized the pandemic, once referring to pandemic as a "little flu." For the record, Brazil has the second-highest covid death toll in the world, and only around ten percent of the Brazilian population is fully vaccinated.

"There are things that have no words. I can't understand Brazil, really," said former Brazilian national team star Denilson, and his distress is in line with the majority of people in South America, the World, and some of the Brazilian state officials. As a result, most of the Brazilian states refused to host games in their regions.

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The 2021 Copa América provided memorable footballing moments as stars like Messi, Neymar, Alexis Sánchez, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez wore their national teams' colors in competition. Nevertheless, the tournament was wrapped up in the controversy as it was played behind closed doors in a country with a staggering coronavirus death toll.