Leading up to the Copa América, many were calling for CONMEBOL to cancel the competition after Argentina backed out due to the coronavirus and Colombia, with national protest continuing in the country.
The director of the Butantan Institute, Dimas Covas, interviewed with Efe (via Marca), where he stated that Brazil’s decision to host the Copa América amid the coronavirus pandemic was wrong.
“The numbers are showing that it was a very wrong decision, and it could have consequences,” said Covas. “We do not know if these (infected) people are or are not with variants of the coronavirus.”
Since the start of the tournament last weekend, CONMEBOL has already counted at least 65 cases of coronavirus related to the 2021 Copa América. However, the number could rise in the coming weeks.
Of the 65 positives, 19 correspond to the participating national teams, while the other 46 are referees, stadium staff, or employees of South America’s football governing body.
Brazil, one of the Latin American countries most affected by the virus, surprisingly agreed to host the tournament after Argentina and Colombia backed out for various reasons, including the lack of control of the pandemic.
The Latin American giant is nearing half a million deaths, a result only surpassed by the United States since the beginning of the health crisis.