The 2020 Copa América has given CONMEBOL a massive number of headaches since they had to postpone it last year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but today, the tournament may have been handed a killer blow.
As Brazilian journalists got ready to listen to Tite's press conference ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qualifying match, a rumor emerged from A Canarinha's camp regarding a possible "mutiny" from the players. The reason for this mutiny is none other than their disagreement for having to step up and host the tournament with the COVID-19 pandemic being out of control in their home country.
Players who perform in Europe, led by Casemiro as their captain, could go even further with their protests and boycott the tournament, since hosting it does not make sense to them when two other countries (Argentina and Colombia) declined their right to welcome the competition.
In fact, coach Tite had to face Brazilian journalists alone since Casemiro refused to face the press as a sign of protest for the decision made by CONMEBOL and the Brazilian Football Confederation. This was eventually confirmed by Tite during the presser.
"The players have a different opinion to that of our president in regards to playing the tournament. That is why our captain, Casemiro, decided not to join us in the press conference," Tite stated.
With the tournament nine days away from its kickoff, the tournament's Organizing Committee has dealt with several problems, especially after Brazil stepped up to host the competition. According to reports, the four cities that will host Copa América games were the only ones that said yes to the federal government, which leaving emblematic venues such as Sao Paulo out of the competition.
While there is no "Plan B" for the Brazilian Football Confederation in regards to this alleged mutiny, the future of this competition is still uncertain due to the state of the pandemic in South America. Nevertheless, time is running out for players and CONMEBOL execs to come up with a suitable plan, and some of the parties involved seem to believe that pushing the start of the tournament back for at least six months would be the right thing to do, whether it is held in Brazil or in any other country.