There’s just over a week to go until the delayed Copa America 2020 is due to begin, but there are doubts now that the tournament will take place at all.
Colombia and Argentina were due to host the tournament jointly before the former were withdrawn after concerns, and the latter then rejected because of a Covid spike.
Though Brazil would seem to have an even worse outbreak of the pandemic, the decision was made – with 13 days notice – to move the Copa America there, but that’s not something that’s sitting well with a lot of people, least of all the Brazilian national team themselves.
Indeed, Casemiro even refused to turn up for his scheduled press conference on Thursday to show his displeasure, and with the Selecao due to play Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier this Friday, it appears that all will become clearer thereafter.
“We’ve asked the athletes to focus only in the game against Ecuador,” Brazil coach, Tite, said, cited by Goal.com.
“Then they’ve (the players) asked to speak directly to the president (Caboclo).
“It was a very straightforward conversation. And then the players’ stance also became very clear. We have a position but we will not reveal it now.
“Our priority now is to play well and to win against Ecuador.
“We understand that the situation will become clear after this international break. They (the players) have an opinion, they’ve told it to the president and they will tell it to the people at the right time.
“That was the reason why Casemiro, our skipper, wasn’t here for this interview.”
If the players do refuse to play, it’s unclear if the tournament can or will go ahead.
With only a few days before the opening game is due to kick-off, this clearly isn’t the scenario that the organisers had in mind.