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South American sports authorities acknowledged the existence of 65 coronavirus cases among workers, referees, players, and technicians.
The South American Soccer Confederation (CONMEBOL) fined Bolivian athlete Marcelo Martins US$20,000 and a one-match suspension for allegedly blaming organizers for COVID-19 contagions at the Copa America being played in Brazil.
CONMEBOL Disciplinary Commission warned that sanctions could increase if Martins continues to violate the confederation's code. It also opened a file against the player for alleged violation of "principles of conduct".
On Tuesday, the athlete posted a message on Instagram asking, "Is the player's life worth nothing?". The next day, however, he clarified that his intention was not to offend CONMEBOL.
Martins said he was excited about the possibility of competing in Copa America but he tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Brazil.
On Thursday, CONMEBOL acknowledged the existence of 65 coronavirus cases among workers, referees, players, and technicians who are participating in the Copa America since June 13. Among those affected are athletes from Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela.
In the Andean team, Martins, two other players, and a coach are infected. The Bolivian Football Federation, however, has not disclosed their names so far.
Currently, Brazil is the country with the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases in South America and the third most infected nation in the world. As of Friday, it had reported 17,704,041 COVID-19 cases and 496,172 related deaths.
The Copa America, which kicked off today in Brazil despite heavy criticism, has all the signs of turning into a Covid 19 super spreader event. My commentary for From the South @telesurenglishpic.twitter.com/aC3oGQCi4V