Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Brazil replaces Argentina as Copa America hosts

The 2021 Copa America will be hosted by Brazil, after Argentina was stripped of the tournament just two weeks before it tips off.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) said Argentina was removed as host because of the “present circumstances”, a reference to the surge in Covid cases.

Later on Monday, Conmebol confirmed Brazil would host the showpiece event, which starts on 13 June.

“Conmebol thanks the president @jairbolsonaro and his team, as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation for opening the doors of that country to what is today the safest sporting event in the world. South America will shine in Brazil with all its stars!” Conmebol said on Twitter.

But Mr Bolsonaro’s chief of staff warned that there is “no done deal yet” and tough conditions would have to be met.

“We are in the middle of the process (of negotiations). But, we will not shy away from a demand that, if it’s possible to be done, it could be done,” Luiz Ramos said.

It is not known which stadiums would host the tournament if it goes ahead.

Argentina was originally set to co-host with Colombia, who were removed on 20 May with widespread protests sweeping the country.

Brazil are defending champions, having won the tournament in 2019 – when they also hosted it.

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