Copa America 2021 to be played in Brazil between June 13 and July 10

Argentina and Colombia were the initial 'co-hosts' of the oldest national team tournament, but internal protests in both the countries led the CONMEBOL to shift it to Brazil.

REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: The tournament will be held in Brazil, announced CONMEBOL on Monday.   -  Getty Images

FULL SCHEDULE HERE: Copa America 2021 schedule: Full list of fixtures, kickoff time in IST, venues, where to watch live matches

CONMEBOL has announced that Copa America 2021 will be played in Brazil, with the body confirming the tournament will be held between June 13 and July 10.

Initially, CONMEBOL had decided that Argentina and Colombia will be joint hosts for the tournament- the first time in the competition's 105-year-old history but both countries were scrapped after a wave of protests swept across the countries demanding social and economical change.

Brazil had last hosted the 2019 edition of the tournament and ended up winning the tournament.

The host country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro was the venue where the World Cup final was held.

Now with the 47th edition of the Copa America shifted to Brazil, it will be fair to assume that the stadium will host this year's final as well as CONMEBOL is yet to confirm the venues and dates for the tournament.

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Apart from the Maracana, the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia, the Fonte Nova Stadium in Salvador and the Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo are some of the other popular stadiums of the country with all the aforementioned stadiums hosting World Cup matches in 2014.

“The host cities and the fixtures will be confirmed by CONMEBOL within hours. The oldest international tournament in the world will make the whole continent cheer!” the South American body said.

“CONMEBOL thanks President Jair Bolsonaro and his team, and also the Brazilian football confederation for opening the doors of this country for the safest sporting event in the world today. South America will shine in Brazil with all its stars," the football body said.

More than 460,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, with many analysts expecting another wave of the disease to hit the country by late June. Many hospitals have more than 80% of their intensive-care unit occupied by victims of the virus.

Bolsonaro has challenged social distancing restrictions and called for a return to normal life despite a slow vaccine rollout. His handling of the pandemic response is under investigation by a Brazilian senate inquiry.

Argentina is facing a surge of coronavirus infections, with strict lockdown measures imposed last weekend amid a seven-day average of 35,000 cases and 500 deaths. More than 77,000 people have died in the country due to the disease, as the virus continues to spread.

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South American teams are already training for the tournament and two rounds of World Cup qualifiers are starting this week.

Like other continental tournaments, Copa America was initially scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its postponement.

The 2020 version of Copa America was to introduce a new format with five teams based in each of the co-hosts, Colombia and Argentina. Group A features Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay while Group B includes Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The four best teams in each group were to advance to the knockout stage, and the final was originally set to be played in Colombia’s Barranquilla.

It would have been the first Copa America hosted by two countries.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, and Australia, which were to take part as guests, decided in February to withdraw due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(With inputs from AP)

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