Welcome back to your weekly edition of #SoccerSaturdays with yours truly!
In this weeks’ blog, It’s time for Copa America.
As many of you football fans know, The Copa America helps determine what national teams could move onto the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. However, we are less than a month away from it’s starting point and already lots happening. So, let’s get right into the action, shall we?
Colombia Loses Co-Host Title Of Copa America!
BREAKING: Colombia will no longer host the Copa America, CONMEBOL has announced, as political unrest continues in the country. pic.twitter.com/3J4kbmHBvM
— Goal (@goal) May 21, 2021
South American body Conmebol announced on Thursday that Colombia will not co-host Copa America. The decision was reached amid serious political unrest and protests against Colombian President, Ivan Duque.
The protests in Colombia began late April after President Duque tried to force a major tax increase amid a pandemic that left millions of Colombians in the streets without food and work, causing a major humanitarian crisis.
Even though President Duque backed away quickly from the proposal, the protesting has not stopped at all. In fact, fights have included long lasting issues in the country such as healthcare and education systems along with the 2016 peace deal with the Marxist rebel forces in Colombia.
The 2021 edition of this tournament was going to feature a new format with 5 teams based in each of the hosts countries. Here is how the groups would look:
- Group A: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
- Group B: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
The 4 best teams would then advance to the knockout stages.
Unfortunately for Copa America, the days ahead aren’t getting that much brighter either. Argentina recently recorded big numbers of cases and deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, approaching more than 3.4 Million cases and 72,000 deaths from the virus.
Copa America In Limbo!
BREAKING: Football in Argentina has been suspended because of COVID-19.
Argentina is due to host the Copa America from June 13—yesterday Colombia was stripped of the games it was set to co-host due to protests in the country against the government. pic.twitter.com/oPh5E4k9l9
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 21, 2021
The past 24-48 hours have been crucial in understanding if the tournament will happen or not. Just yesterday, Argentina suspended their domestic football season until at least May 30th.
President Alberto Fernandez of Argentina mentioned yesterday during an interview, that the nations national, provincial and municipal authorities are working in junction to ensure the Copa America can happen as schedule. However, as I mentioned previously the pandemic has not ease off at all in the South American country.
Now, the possibilities for the tournament having to be postponed are very real! Until when though is the real question.
Simply at the moment, there is just too much happening all throughout South America.
The civil unrest in nations like Colombia and Venezuela do not seem to ease off anytime soon. Alongside of that, the South American continent has been given a lethal blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has rampaged throughout the whole continent and everyday cases are rapidly increasing along with deaths, leaving many to think there is no end in sight quick enough. In my opinion, and for the safety of fans and players, it’d truly be best to consider other options.
The tournament can either be postponed till November 2021, or if the tournament is to proceed in June, there needs to be a bubble system where unfortunately, fans cannot be allowed in stadiums.
Lastly, make sure to follow the Yellow Card Podcast as the story develops for coverage and more information. Until next week!
~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ on Twitter).
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