Brazil captain Casameiro has confirmed that the entire Brazil team, including head coach Tite, is against CONMEBOL’s late decision to conduct the Copa America 2021 in Brazil. “It’s everyone, including (manager) Tite,” he said after the World Cup qualifiers match against Ecuador.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be hosted in Columbia and Argentina, but due to the ongoing political instability in Columbia, and the rising cases of COVID-19 in Argentina, they announced last week that neither of the two countries will host the Copa.
Why is there a problem in Brazil hosting Copa America 2021?
It was then being anticipated that the oldest international football tournament in the world would be either cancelled or be held in the USA. CONMEBOL was against the notion of conducting the tournament in North America and thus in an unexpected turn of events, they announced two days later that the tournament will now be held in Brazil.
This took the football world by surprise as Brazil has also recently seen a massive surge in their active cases of COVID-19. On an average, the country is seeing sixty thousand new cases everyday, which is a daunting number. Over 460,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil, more than anywhere outside the United States.
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Whether this is the reason for the Brazil nationals team’s stand against the tournament , is unknown as of now. Casameiro stated that they will wait till next week before officially commenting on the situation. But it is clear that for whatever reason it might be, they do not want the tournament to continue.
In the post match conference after the match against Ecuador, Casameiro said, “Everyone knows our position in the Copa America in Brazil,” the captain said following the Ecuador match. “It could not be clearer. We want to express our opinion more after the game against Paraguay [on June 8].
“It’s not just me, not just the players who play in Europe. It’s everyone, including Tite. All together.”
Brazil government’s involvement in Copa America 2021
Rio De Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes, has also recently threatened that he could cancel the matches of Copa America.
In a weekly briefing, the mayor said, “I don’t see any advantage in hosting Copa America 2021 matches.”
“We didn’t ask for the Copa America and if you want my opinion, I don’t think it’s the right time to organise such a tournament,” he added.
The team however, showed no signs of distress from the off-field drama, in their performance against Ecuador. The Seleção flew past their opponents with no difficulty, bagging a comfortable 2-0 victory. This win further cemented their position at the top of the World Cup Qualifiers table. Argentina, who are second on the table, are four points behind Brazil, having played the same number of matches.
Copa America 2021 is scheduled to start next week from 14th June. The first match is between Brazil and Venezuela. The recent developments have put the tournament’s fate under doubt. It was also being rumoured that if CONMEBOL indeed take the decision of continuing the tournament, the Brazil team might pull out from the competition, which will be a huge blow to the reputation of the century old event.