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Copa America 2021 to Go Ahead Despite Player Concerns

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Despite talks of a potential boycott, the summer tournament will go ahead in Brazil behind closed doors.

BRAZIL-POLITICS-BOLSONARO Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images

Over the past month, Copa America 2021 went from two hosts to none as first Colombia, with anti-government protests and high COVID-19 rates, and then Argentina, with rapidly rising COVID-19 rates, withdrew.

Brazil then stepped in to host the tournament less than two weeks before it was set to kick off, but with that country having some of the highest COVID-19 rates in the region there were concerns—and talks of player boycotts.

However, it appears now that the tournament will go ahead despite the concerns of some players, as there was not a strong enough consensus to boycott the tournament or to force a postponement of it.

The opening match of the rapidly rearranged tournament is set for Sunday, June 13th, with new hosts Brazil taking on Venezuela at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. All matches are set to be held behind closed doors.

All players, officials, and support staff involved in Copa America who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination will also be given the chance to receive one this week. However, it is not mandatory for participation.