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News > Brazil

Copa America Kicks off in Brazil Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Nilton Santos Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Nilton Santos Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | Photo: Twitter/ @MundoDeporEC

Published 13 June 2021
Opinion

The Cup will be held without public attendance and will be played only in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Cuiaba, and Goiania.

Venezuelan and Brazilian national teams will hold the first match of the America Cup championship on Sunday afternoon.

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Brazil's Justice Gives Copa America the Green Light

On Saturday, the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) announced the arrival of 15 new players to Brazil after 11 of its players tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. Also, three players and one member of the Bolivian team's technical staff tested positive. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major obstacle for the beginning of the oldest national team tournament in the world since Colombia and Argentina refused to host the event. 

Despite the delicate COVID-19 situation, Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro allowed this major sports gathering to take place in the South American nation where over 17 million people have succumbed to the virus. 

Supreme Court approved the tournament just 72 hours before the first kick to the ball and rejected the appeals filed by the leftist Workers' Party (PT), the National Confederation of Metalworkers, and the Brazilian Socialist Party to suspend the tournament.

The Cup will be held without public attendance and will be played only in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Cuiaba, and Goiania since traditional hosting cities such as Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Salvador, Recife, and Fortaleza refused to host the tournament arguing their health emergency status.

The Cup's success may also be compromised by the absence of the two invited countries, Qatar and Australia, and the withdrawal of Mastercard, distiller Diageo, and beer producer Ambev's sponsorships.

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