Football: Argentina no longer hosting Copa America: Conmebol

The tournament between 10 South American nations was scheduled to be held in Argentina and Colombia between June 13 and July 10.
The tournament between 10 South American nations was scheduled to be held in Argentina and Colombia between June 13 and July 10.PHOTO: AFP

ASUNCION (REUTERS) - The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) said on Sunday (May 30) that Argentina would no longer host the Copa America, throwing the troubled tournament into doubt just 13 days before it was due to kick off.

The tournament between 10 South American nations was scheduled to be held in Argentina and Colombia between June 13 and July 10 but Colombia was removed as co-host on May 20 and Argentina has now followed due to what Conmebol said was "the present circumstances".

Conmebol did not disclose the nature of the circumstances that led to the decision but Argentina is currently suffering from a surge in Covid-19 cases.

"Conmebol is analysing offers from other countries that have shown interest in hosting the continental tournament," it said in a short statement. "Updates will be announced soon."

Sunday's decision was announced shortly before 11 pm in Argentina and comes as yet another blow to a tournament that was held over from 2020 due to the pandemic.

This year's Copa America was to be the first featuring joint hosts but Colombia was removed as co-hosts after a wave of protests demanding social and economic change spread across the country.

Conmebol said the 15 games scheduled for Colombia would be moved either to Argentina, which was due to host the other 13 matches, or somewhere else.

Gonzalo Belloso, Conmebol's secretary-general, last week said the organisation had spoken with Chile officials with a view to perhaps hosting some matches there.

Conmebol's reputation has taken a battering in recent years, with the organisation forced to move the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores final to Madrid due to fan violence in Buenos Aires.