The 2021 Copa America cannot seem to stay away from turmoil. Just days after losing its two previous hosts, Argentina and Colombia, the prestigious South American tournament faces another crisis as the Brazilian national team are against the decision to move the tournament to their home country.
Rumors of a protest emerged ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Ecuador. Manager Tite met with the media for his press conference and was supposed to be joined by Casemiro, but the gaffer revealed that he and other players were locked in disagreements with the Brazilian FA over staging the competition.
It now appears the Real Madrid midfielder was barred from airing his anger at the press conference. However, the Selecao captain did eventually get his chance to speak, opening up to reporters about what is going on after helping his nation to a 2-0 triumph over Ecuador.
The combative midfielder revealed that it was not merely the Brazilians who play in Europe who are against this move, but rather everyone in the squad, including the manager Tite. Casemiro didn't shy away from admitting they had grievances but stated that they will talk in more details after Monday's clash with Paraguay.
"Everyone knows our position on the Copa America in Brazil. It could not be clearer," he said, as per the Daily Mail.
"We want to express our opinion more after the game against Paraguay [on Monday].
"It's not just me, not just the players who play in Europe. It's everyone, including Tite. All together."
The anger against this move is understandable. While Colombia were removed as co-hosts due to political unrest, Argentina's decision to relinquish their hosting rights was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the country suffering another wave. Moving the tournament to Brazil on such short notice thus raises a few eyebrows as they have the second-highest death toll, with 470,000 people tragically losing their lives to the virus.
Brazilian FA president Rogerio Caboclo reportedly had a sit-down with Tite as the gaffer had reservations over this turn of event, which the manager let slip before the clash with Ecuador. Only eight days remain before the 2021 Copa America is scheduled to kick off, making things all the more worse.