Argentina presented to the South American Football Confederation (CONMBOL), to host the Copa América in its entirety, sanitary protocols that are stricter than those of the next European Championship, according to the head of the Argentine cabinet of ministers, Santiago Cafiero, on Thursday.
“The people of CONMEBOL were quite surprised with respect to the demands we were making. In fact, they made comments to us that not even the European Championship has protocols of these characteristics”said Cafiero in an interview with Radio Ten.
This Wednesday, in a meeting between the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, and the head of the highest continental football organization, Alejandro Domínguez, Argentina communicated the health requirements for the holding of the entire championship on Argentine soil, in the midst of the pandemic of the COVID-19 and after Colombia, which was also going to host, was left out after CONMEBOL did not accept its proposal to postpone the Cup again.
Cafiero said that it was a “good meeting” and reiterated that Argentina – which is going through its worst moment of the pandemic – already has a commitment since last year to organize part of the Cup: “last year it was postponed and this year it would have to be done because if not, it will be lost, “he said.
“We raised (at the meeting) what the sanitary conditions were required, they are very strict protocols for high and permanent supervision and they are so strict that CONMEBOL took them away to analyze and to see if they could be met,” the official specified. .
The Chief of Staff said that among the requirements there are aspects that have to do with the vaccination of the delegations and with “greatly reducing the presence” of the people who arrive.
“They took the time to define it,” he said.
“I understand that they have to talk with all the delegations to see if they can comply with the protocols that Argentina is demanding and we have to, based on that resolution, as it is a cup that is played in different venues in Argentina, work with the governors and local authorities to inform them that they would accept that and that they are in a position to do so, “he added.
As it became known on Wednesday, “the eventual qualification of additional venues” in the country is also being studied, in case Argentina finally hosts the entire tournament.
“We have to see the health situation in the provinces,” said Cafiero, who wished that progress could be made in resolving the situation, either “positively or negatively, but working on it seriously.”
The Copa América was to be played in Argentina and Colombia between June 13 and July 10.
The Colombian government asked last week to postpone it, but Conmebol rejected the request and affirmed that the games that were going to be played on Colombian soil (including the final) would be relocated due to the social crisis that that country is going through.