Copa America 2020: Brazilian players threaten to boycott tournament

Copa America 2020 has been facing hurdle after hurdle. Firstly, Argentina and Columbia pulled out from being the hosts due to COVID and other issues. Eventually, CONMEBOL named Brazil as the new host. On the back of this announcement, there are serious concerns raised by Brazilian players due to the COVID situation in Brazil.

The tournament will take place between June 13 and July 11, but due to the COVID-19 surge in Brazil, players like Casemiro are not ready to feature in Copa America. However, Brazilian players are unlikely to make a public statement until World Cup qualifiers Ecuador and Paraguay. Brazil’s head coach Tite has confirmed discussions amongst players about the situation.

“They have an opinion, they expressed it to the president and they will express it to the public at the appropriate time. That is why our captain Casemiro is absent today.”

Tite responded with this answer when he was asked whether players will boycott the tournament. Argentina pulled out due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, there was civil unrest as the citizens of Columbia were protesting against President Ivan Duque. 

Brazil came in as a rescue to save the tournament but it looks like the future of this tournament is uncertain. Brazil will play their first game for the World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador on Friday and their second fixture is next Tuesday against Paraguay. 

Brazil has the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the continent and has about 470,000 deaths in total in the country until now. Health experts in the country are also predicting a third-wave, so hosting such Copa America in the country is counterproductive. CONMEBOL may have to think about moving the tournament out of the continent, but it will be a logistical nightmare to make arrangements at such short notice. As things stand, it does look like Brazil will be hosting games.

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