11 days before the opening game, it is not known where the Copa América will be played. This is how incredible the course of this failed championship has been, which seems to never finish taking definitive shape.
The 47th edition of the oldest international tournament in the world has also been one of the most rugged since your confirmation. They were almost two years of twists and turns, of ratifications and rectifications, of confirmations and refusals. And, even though there is still an open final, this is the timeline for the 2020/2021 Copa América.
-At the FIFA Council in October 2018, an agreement was reached for the Copa América to be played in even-numbered years, with the aim of coinciding with the Euro on the calendar.
-With the 2019 edition already confirmed in Brazil, the possibility was raised that in 2020 it would be played in the United States again, as had happened in 2016 with the Centennial. However, Conmebol dismissed that and chose to play it in South America.
-In March 2019, the unprecedented joint application of Argentina and Colombia was accepted. Never two countries had organized the tournament and even less the two most distant from the continent. It was chosen to “unite” the entire region, from north to south.
-In April, Colombia decided to apply alone, but days later the championship was approved in both countries with a different format and two guests from Asia: Australia and Qatar.
-In March 2020, the covid 19 pandemic reached South America and on the 17th of that month, Conmebol decided to cancel the tournament and postpone it to 2021. It was shortly after UEFA did the same with the Euro.
-At the end of 2020 there was talk of the possibility of playing the matches with a thirty percent audience in the stadiums.
-In February 2021, Australia and Qatar confirmed that they would not participate in the tournament due to “calendar problems”. It was decided that it would be played without guests.
-At the beginning of April, the second wave of the pandemic began to hit the entire continent hard, but the Colombian and Argentine authorities confirmed that the event was still on, with protocols and without an audience.
-On April 28, a national strike began in Colombia that is still continuing. In the following weeks, the government repeatedly ratified the holding of the Cup, beyond the increasingly massive and violent protests.
-On May 21, the Colombian government asked Conmebol to postpone the contest to the end of the year so that it can be played with the public. The Confederation did not accept the proposal and the headquarters remained only in Argentina.
-On May 26, Argentina’s chief of staff, Santiago Cafiero, affirmed that Argentina maintained the commitment to organize its part, despite the fact that the country was in the worst moment of the pandemic.
-On May 31, after days in which the championship dispute was confirmed several times, Conmebol reported that Argentina would no longer be the headquarters and that it was in search of a new one.
-To be continue.