Mastercard has withdrawn sponsorship deal with Copa America 2021. The tournament is set to go ahead in Brazil by the end of the week. In a statement to Veja, Mastercard confirmed the decision to withdraw the sponsorship deal. The company did not explain the reasons for the withdrawal.
“After careful analysis, we decided not to activate our sponsorship of Copa América in Brazil.”
The controversy around the event began when President Jair Bolsonaro accepted the invitation to host Copa America 20201 in Brazil after Colombia and Argentina gave up hosting rights due to COVID-19 and political reasons. Mastercard has possibly withdrawn from the competition due to the controversial decision of moving the event to Brazil.
On the back of CONMEBOL’s decision to move Copa America to Brazil, there are serious concerns raised by Brazilian players due to the COVID situation in Brazil. The Brazilian team even threatened not to participate in the event. The CONMEBOL president held a Zoom meeting on Sunday, with several federation presidents and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, urging them to pressure Brazil captain Casemiro and coach Tite to participate in the competition. Argentina officially confirmed that they will be participating in the tournament.
CONMEBOL stripped Colombia from co-hosting duties earlier this month over violent anti-government protests and growing safety concerns, along with increased worries over the spread of COVID-19. Then CONMEBOL decided to suspend Argentina’s hosting rights of the Copa America tournament due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Argentina.
Copa America was originally due to take place in 2020, but it was postponed for 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time since 1983, two countries were going to jointly host the tournament but the bad news regarding the tournament keeps on coming. It will be interesting to see what kind of developments take place in the coming days. As of now, Brazil is also set to participate in the competition despite the reluctance shown by players.