Over the years, sporting events have been canceled or postponed due to a myriad of complications, including wars, economic problems and political boycotts, but the chain of events that has rocked this year’s Copa America soccer tournament dealt a number of blows to the tournament.
The world’s oldest international soccer tournament means a lot to South American players such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
The tournament’s difficulties began with the Corona virus pandemic, and the 2020 edition was postponed to this year.
The one-year postponement forced Australia and Qatar, the two participants with a wild card, to withdraw due to conflicting dates, so that the tournament would consist of two groups, each of 5 teams, instead of 6.
CONMEBOL decided to follow the European model in organizing in recent years, and this year’s tournament was supposed to be the first jointly organized between Colombia and Argentina.
In May, less than a month before the start of the competitions, Colombia was excluded from the organization due to the local turmoil in the country, and a little later Argentina withdrew from the organization due to the increase in the number of people infected with the Corona virus, and “CONMEBOL” resorted to Brazil to save the situation.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro agreed to host the tournament less than two weeks before its launch, despite the country’s poor record in the number of people infected with the Corona virus.
Brazil witnessed the death of nearly half a million people from infection, a rate that exceeds the number of deaths in any other country except the United States, and thousands are still dying every week.
It seemed that the decision taken by Rogerio Capoclo, president of the Brazilian Confederation, angered the Brazilian players, who decided to participate in the tournament.
It was reported that the coach of the Brazilian national team, Tite, and his players were considering whether or not to participate in the tournament.
“For various reasons, humanitarian or professional, we are not satisfied with the way (CONMEBOL) dealt with the Copa America, whether it was decided to establish it in Chile or in Brazil after a short period of time,” the statement said.
The players added that despite their dissatisfaction, they decided to participate in the Copa America, “because we are professional football players, and we have a task that we must accomplish in the shirt of the five-time world champion.”
In the statement, the players stated that they oppose the organization of the Copa America, “but we will not say no to the Brazilian national team at all.”
The Supreme Court of Brazil issued a ruling the first Thursday, according to the possibility of Brazil hosting the tournament.
The court announced that the 11 judges of the Supreme Court of Brasília had voted unanimously in favor of hosting the tournament.
The court also ruled that municipalities and states would have the power to decide not to host the event within the limits of their respective responsibility.
But this is unlikely to happen, because the governors of the four states where the matches are scheduled are allies of President Jair Bolsonaro, who wants to hold the tournament.
Several major sponsors of the tournament have pulled out, and the Supreme Court has rejected two lawsuits to block the tournament, which kicks off when Brazil plays Venezuela on Sunday.
This year’s edition of the tournament will be completely different from what it should have been.