Belo Horizonte, Brazil – It is true that the Estadio Mane Garrincha football stadium, which is not very busy in Brazil, is almost in the view of the office of the President of Brazil Air airs Bolsonaro.
Less than a week earlier, the opening match of the controversial, politicized Copa America in the history of the world’s oldest international football history is scheduled to take place in the cave arena.
Whether that will happen, despite Bolsonaro’s stubbornness, remains to be seen.
By the end of last month, the 10-man one-month tournament was to be hosted by Colombia and Argentina for the first time.
The previous plans were canceled on May 20 due to civil unrest. Ten days later, Argentina saw a 54 percent increase in COVID cases changed its hosting rights for the unwanted title of having the fifth worst coronavirus outbreak per capita in the world.
Within 24 hours, Brazil, devastated by COVID, was presented as an emergency solution.
The South American football governing body, Alejandro Dominguez, President of CONMEBOL, wrote on Twitter: “It is an upcoming tournament that will shake the continent.” He was not wrong.
Is Brazil the right choice?
The reality, just like COVID-19, is hard to shake. The 105-year-old tournament was moved to Colombia և Argentina քաղաքական due to political turmoil և coronavirus, but moved to a country with a political rift, where the number of worst victims was recorded. The world does not see an end.
As of June 5, Brazil reported less than 17 million cases of coronavirus, the third highest in the world, with more than 470,000 deaths, behind the United States.
Only 10 percent of the population was fully vaccinated, and Brazil recorded 94,509 new cases a day after being confirmed as the host, the country’s second-highest rate.
The decision to host the tournament drew criticism from South America. Footballers, politicians, health experts, lawyers and fans all expressed disbelief in hosting the tournament in a country that is constantly struggling to control the virus.
The Brazilian Football Federation has not yet made a statement, it has not been able to respond to Al aze Azira’s request for comment. But the Brazilian team is against the idea of holding the tournament at home.
On Friday, after the team’s victory over Ecuador, captain Kazemiro said that the players do not want to participate in the tournament, given the COVID situation in the country.
“We can not talk about the problem [but] “Everyone knows what our position is on Copa America,” said Kazemiro. “It is impossible to be clearer. “We want to express our opinion after the game against Paraguay.”
High-profile stars such as Argentina’s Sergio Aguero and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez have also expressed concern, with Chile also considering a boycott with coach Martin Lazart, saying playing in Brazil is a “huge risk”.
Immediately after Dominguez’s post, memes of caricatures, logos, and coffins with the virus molecule circulated online.
Using the Portuguese words “variant” և “grave”, the Brazilians renamed the tournament Cepa America և Cova America.
“Every day more than 2,000 people in Brazil die from the virus, but it has been going on for so long, it’s considered completely natural,” Dr Amal Suleiman, an infectious disease specialist at Sao Paulo Emilio Ribas Hospital, told Al Jazeera.
“It’s endless. It is as if 10 large passenger planes crashed every day for months. No country in the world is like that. ”
More than half of the 15 countries in South America have the highest seven-day COVID rates worldwide.
Brazilian national football team coach Tite refuses to confirm whether they will play in this year’s Copa America after top players said they would not go to a sporting event because of an idiotic idea while thousands of people are still dying. From Covid 19. pic.twitter.com/GBOGI0EwH4:
– BrianMier (@BrianMteleSUR) June 5, 2021
However, with $ 100 million in television rights already sold, CONMEBOL refuses to postpone its show competition for the second year in a row.
Without the stadium fans, Brazil intends to raise the curtain against Venezuela on June 13, before the next matches take place in Cuiab,, Goania, Rio de Other aneuro.
A study by the Brazilian newspaper O Globo found that each of the four host cities had less than 20 percent of ICU beds.
“Hosting the Copa America reports that the epidemic is under control,” Suleiman added.
“It should not be underestimated; this is exactly what Bolsonaro is trying to do from the very beginning, saying that it is only ‘flu’. [small cold] և “soft thing” [thing for sissies]”Football is not a place associated with Sisi, it is considered a macho sport. So the message conveyed by hosting the event risks a significant deterioration in public health. ”
In a COVID-free context, deciding on an emergency may seem logical.
Over the past seven years, Brazil has hosted the Soccer World Cup, the Olympic Games, the Under-17 World Cup, and the 2019 Copa America. The country is undoubtedly proud of the best infrastructure in the region for hosting a major sporting event.
“I’m against Copa America being held this year because it is losing its prestige, but if we’re going to have it, Brazil is a good option,” said Lucas Assis, a 21-year-old Rio de Janeiro student. Jane aneurysm:
“Our domestic leagues are running, այլ Other South American teams played Libertadores here last week, so I see no difference. The mainstream media is completely against Copa America, but they have no problem broadcasting domestic football, so it feels hypocritical and political. To me, all this frustration has more to do with television rights than dying people. ”
Can vaccines save the tournament?
CONMEBOL claims that with the 50,000 vaccines provided by Chinese manufacturer Sinovac, it can vaccinate all team delegations before the start of the tournament.
Time, however, is not up to the organizers. A three-week period is recommended between the two doses. Suleiman called the logic “completely flawed”, noting the dangers posed to peripheral defenseless workers, such as bulldozers, bus drivers and hotel workers.
“It’s crazy,” said Monica Sapukaya Machado, a professor at the Brazilian Institute of Public Law in Brazil. “They say they will vaccinate traveling parties, but what about people working at airports, hotels and restaurants?” Do we expect the players to stay at their hotel for a month? It’s ridiculous. “
Last week, Ajax’s David Neres and Sao Paulo’s Robert Arboleda were arrested during a secret party attended by more than 100 people. Such secret events are a common theme in Brazil, where each governor sets his own rules.
“The epidemic is completely out of control here,” Suleiman said. “Public hospitals are full, private hospitals are full, everyone is working at their maximum capacity. For patients with intubated intensive care in Sao Paulo, the drug will be consumed no later than next week without anticipation of reloads. It is not a convenient situation.
“Football is a great sport, an emotional game, but the country does not need Copa America at the moment. The country needs the vaccine. “
The controversial decision came less than a week after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of 200 Brazilian cities calling for Bolsonaro’s impeachment.
The president has regularly reduced the severity of the coronavirus, opposed the blockade, and questioned the effectiveness of vaccinations.
On Wednesday evening, Bolsonaro confirmed that the tournament would be held in Brazil and said that they would follow the same protocol as in the Copa Libertadores World Cup qualifiers.
Opposition politicians already have approached the Supreme Court intending to stop the tournament due to public health.
The leader of the Socialist Party of Brazil, Carlos Siqueira, called it a “death plan”, while Senator Renan Calehiros urged Brazilian star Neymar Jr. to take a stand. Legal action has been launched in various states of the country.
Professor Machado told Al Azira Azira TV that Bolsonaro’s decision to turn the tournament green was a “subversive tactic” as he and his government’s management of the epidemic came under heavy criticism during a parliamentary inquiry.
Adding that some legal actions may have consequences, he believes that they are hardly enough to force the suspension.
“Our problem now in Brazil is that we have no control,” Machado said. “Legal-technical opinions, things that have been studied for generations, based on evidence, are not used to make important decisions. I understand that Brazilian football is a very important business, but I do not see how it is a smart move from any point of view, even economically.
“Excuse the phrase, but what is the point here?”