With two major international soccer tournaments occurring simultaneously over the next few weeks, it is the Copa América tournament in Brazil that appears entangled in a crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Washington Post, the 2021 iteration of Copa América teed off Sunday and 41 individuals affiliated with the event have tested positive for the virus since.
The outbreak in Brazil is in stark contrast to the UEFA European Championships, which are being held in venues across the continent from Rome to London.
And so far, no news of a mass outbreak has come from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Isolated cases are being reported like with Manchester City and Portugal fullback João Cancelo, who’ll have to miss the entirety of the tournament.
The situation in South America looks dire; FC Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi expressed his own concerns about contracting the virus:
“We’ll try to do all we can so no one gets it,” Messi said via Reuters. “But sometimes it doesn’t depend solely on ourselves.”
Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Argentina pulled out of its original obligation to host the 2021 Copa América. Brazil is the emergency fill-in despite a COVID-19 death toll that trails only the United States.
Upon arriving in Brazil for the tournament, a number of teams like Venezuela and Bolivia have been decimated by viral outbreaks. And without eight players due to testing positive, the Venezuelans lost 3-0 in their opening group match against host Brazil.
Things may be running more smoothly at the Euros, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended the British government’s COVID-19 restrictions with Wimbledon right around the corner too towards the end of the month.
Sky Sports is reporting that “the Euro 2020 group games, for instance, require ticket holders to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test result.”
The plan is to host the semi-finals of the Euro 2020 tournament in London’s Wembley Stadium at 50 percent capacity.
Photo via https://www.skysports.com