Brazil is being chosen as one of the new hosts of the 2014 World Cup and will host all six of the final games. The finals will be held in a new stadium in the northern city of Manaus, and the venue will have a capacity of up to 76,000. It will be the first time that the finals have been held in South America and is expected to raise the profile of the sport in Brazil.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil, will be the first hosted by a South American country. The tournament was supposed to be held in Argentina and Colombia, but the Argentine Football Association and the Colombian Football Federation both backed out in May in the face of political unrest. The Confederations Cup, the World Cup’s preseason tournament, will be held in Brazil.
CONMEBOL on Monday designated Brazil as the host country for the 47th CONMEBOL World Cup. Copa América, although President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff said the ongoing talks may not reach a formal conclusion until the next day. The decision came less than 24 hours after the governing body of South American football announced that Argentina will no longer host the tournament, which starts on May 13 and ends on June 10. CONMEBOL’s statement reads as follows: CONMEBOL @CopaAmerica 2021 will be played in Brazil! The start and end dates of the tournament have been confirmed. CONMEBOL will announce the venue and match in the coming hours. The oldest national team tournament in the world will thrill the entire continent! – ESPN FC Daily live on ESPN+ (US only) Later on Monday, Luis Eduardo Ramos, Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, said the talks were still ongoing and nothing was certain about a possible postponement of the tournament. CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said the executive committee had unanimously decided that Brazil would host the championship. He also thanked the original hosts of the tournament, Argentina and Colombia, and said there would be opportunities for both countries to host events in the future. Brazil is the defending champion of this competition, which it won on home soil in 2019. CONMEBOL cited current circumstances as the reason for the cancellation of Argentina’s participation in the World Cup: The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in the country. On Sunday, there were 348 deaths and 21,346 new infections. CONMEBOL, unwilling to cancel the tournament for the second year in a row after the 2020 edition failed to go ahead due to the pandemic, acted quickly, less than two weeks before the tournament. The last Copa America, held in Brazil in 2019, brought in $118 million in revenue. The 10-nation South American tournament was originally to be hosted by Argentina and Colombia, the first time in the tournament’s 105-year history that they have hosted the tournament together. Colombia’s request to postpone the tournament was rejected by CONMEBOL and the country withdrew on the 20th. May withdrew from the tournament due to social and economic unrest in the country. While no decision has yet been made on the venue, several of the stadiums Brazil built or rebuilt for the 2014 World Cup could be candidates to host the Games, including the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro or the Mane Garrincha Stadium in the capital Brasilia. A source told Reuters that locations in Brasilia, Natal, Manaus and Cuiaba will be used. CONMEBOL said it would announce the host cities in the coming hours. Brazil, the 2019 winner, will host the Copa America in 2021. LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images This last-minute decision also raises difficult questions for the Brazilian National Federation (CBF). The Brazilian league is not interrupted for the duration of the Copa America, and at least 70 league games are scheduled during the month-long tournament. According to Brazilian media, Flamengo will ask the CBF to suspend the competition for the duration of the Copa. In Brazil, more than 460,000 people have died from COVID-19, the second highest number in the world after the United States, and the vaccination process has stalled. But Argentina has struggled with the recent surge. According to Reuters, 204 cases per 100,000 people have been reported in Brazil over the past seven days, and 484 cases per 100,000 in Argentina. Argentina of Lionel Messi opens the tournament on June 13 with a match against Chile, while Brazil begins its title defence against Venezuela a day later. The South American teams are also preparing for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which were originally scheduled for March but were postponed due to travel restrictions caused by the Coronavirus. Information from Reuters was used for this report.