— Published 8 June 2021

A Copa America under high surveillance


With less than a week to go before the opening of the Copa America football tournament in Brazil, the situation remains confused in the host country. The Brazilian Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, assured on Monday, June 7th, that the vaccination of the players from the 10 participating teams would not be mandatory. His government had said the opposite. “The question of vaccination is not an obligation,” explained Marcelo Queiroga. “If the players are vaccinated, that’s for the best, but we are not going to ask them to do it now. The vaccine can cause a reaction, and that could compromise the competitiveness of the players.” According to one of the organising committee’s officials, André Pedrinelli, six of the ten 65-person delegations that will compete in the tournament are already fully vaccinated, with two more to be completed before the start of the competition (June 13th to July 10th). All members will undergo PCR testing every 48 hours, staying in individual rooms and isolated floors in their hotels. They will travel between the four host cities by chartered aircraft. The matches will be played behind closed doors.