The 2021 Copa America is in serious jeopardy after South American football association CONMEBOL banned Argentina from hosting the tournament.

The announcement came late Sunday amid a rising number of coronavirus cases in Argentina.

A statement was posted on Twitter confirming that Argentina has been removed as a host and that the hosting rights will go to any of the countries that have shown interest in hosting the four-year event.

The Copa America was scheduled to start a year late on June 12, but it remains to be seen whether it will happen in time.

The USA should be in the race to host the Copa America 2021

Colombia and Argentina were supposed to host the Copa America together, but the former was denied the chance to do so amid anti-government protests in the country.

Meanwhile, the pandemic in Argentina has worsened when a nationwide lockdown was announced last week to contain infections. Argentina recorded a seven-day average of 35,000 cases and around 500 deaths.

Up to 77,000 people have died from the virus in Argentina, and the need to contain the virus effectively means the country cannot risk hosting a tournament as large as the Copa America.

Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela have offered to host the Copa America, but a report from Telemundos Diego Montalvan (via NBC sports) claims that the entire tournament could be played in the United States.

Although the US is hosting the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June, it has been claimed that the dates do not clash too much and that the Copa America games will not be played in the cities and stadiums that host the Gold Cup.

It remains to be seen how the logistical factors will be dealt with in the coming weeks. The Copa America is likely to be postponed as South American football association CONMEBOL reviews its options in the coming days.

The Copa America Centenario attracted a large audience to the stadiums in the USA in 2016, so shifting the competition to the north could be a good option from today’s perspective.


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