The CONMEBOL have officially confirmed that the Copa America 2021 will no longer be held in Argentina. The decision has finally been made public after a long period of speculation and uncertainty. The tournament was initially scheduled to be taking place in both Argentina and Colombia, but Colombia had to pull out from hosting the tournament last week, due to the growing political unrest in the country.
The Story Of The Hour With Regards To The Host Of The Copa America Tournament
With Columbia chalked out as hosts of the tournament, it was decided that all the matches will be held in Argentina. But the recent spurt in COVID-19 cases in the country worsened the situation. CONMEBOL confirmed it’s decision through it’s official Twitter handle today.
“CONMEBOL is analyzing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament,” it said in a short statement. “Updates will be announced soon.”
Given the deteriorating situation of the pandemic in South America, it will now be a big challenge for CONMEBOL to find a host country for the tournament. Copa America 2021 was scheduled to be starting from 14th June, and with less than 2 weeks time in hand, the highest footballing governing body of South America will either have to act quickly, or postpone/cancel the tournament indefinitely.
What Is Rumoured To Be The Next Host Of The Competition?
Four ideas are being rumored for the Copa America. The first is to cancel it. The second is to host it in Chile or Paraguay. Both nations were mentioned as possible replacements when Colombia withdrew. Fourth is the USA but CONMEBOL would want to keep it in South America.
The 2021 Copa America will be the 47th edition of the prestigious tournament, and with all the 10 participating teams hoping to win it, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are arguably the top contenders this year.
Defending champions Brazil will look to retain their title with a star-studded team. Their side is composed of players like Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Allison Becker, and many more.
However, Argentinian skipper Lionel Messi is probably eager to win the tournament more than anyone else. He is yet to win an international trophy with Argentina’s senior team, and this will probably be his last Copa America.
The FC Barcelona star is now 34. He arguably does not have many years left in his career. He would thus thrive to win this tournament. Being removed as the hosts will be a big blow for La Albiceleste. They are still capable enough of winning the trophy.
What Were The Comments By Lionel Messi Recently About The Tournament?
In a recent interview at the national training camp, Leo Messi said, “At the last Copa America we left a good impression but did not reach the final. The last game in the World Cup qualifiers left a good taste.”
“The truth is that it has been a long time since the last game and we could not meet. But we must return as soon as possible and continue the growth process.”
Argentina are placed in group B alongside Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay. Only four out of these five teams will head on to the knock-out round.