Brazil players refusing to participate in Copa America due to pandemic surge

Neymar, Douglas Costa, and Casemiro-Brazil
Neymar, Douglas Costa, and Casemiro-Brazil

The Copa America tournament has been shifted to Brazil.

Earlier, it was announced that the Copa America would be played in Brazil after Argentina and Colombia – both were slated to host the tournament – were deemed unsuitable due to the COVID-19 surge.

According to a new report, Brazilian players have been left frustrated with the decision and would walk out if the competition gets played on their home soil.

It has also been added that Brazilians were involved in a furious row with the federation as they fear the decision to switch the venue would take a big toll on them amid the surge in coronavirus cases in their country. In the aftermath, Real Madrid defender Casemiro has skipped the training season.

Brazilian manager Tite said: “They have an opinion, they exposed it to the president … and they will expose it to the public at the appropriate time. That is why our captain Casemiro is absent today.”

Argentina and Colombia were dropped as original hosts due to the protest from the public, who made it clear that competition can’t go ahead due to the spread of COVID-19. Defending Copa America champions Brazil was chosen as the replacement destination at the last minute.

Tite also added that his side’s focus is on the World Cup Qualifying games against Ecuador.

“We asked our athletes to focus only on the match against Ecuador. ‘We have a priority now, to play well and beat Ecuador. We understand that after the two rounds, these situations will be clear.”

“I am not avoiding answers, and I am giving facts with the understanding that I have. Copa America is very important. But our match tomorrow is more important.”