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On Thursday, the Brazilian Supreme Court granted the green light to hold the Copa America after a long day of hearings on several requests submitted to it to prevent the continental championship from being held in the second country worst affected by the Corona virus pandemic in terms of the number of deaths.

Six judges out of 11 voted during a hypothetical extraordinary session of the court, and thus the tournament, which includes 10 teams, will start, Sunday, to continue until July 10, and it was originally scheduled in Colombia and Argentina, but the first was excluded due to violent anti-government protests, and the second due to the outbreak of the virus. Corona.

Judge Carmen Lucia wrote that the Supreme Court considered that “it falls to (state governors and mayors) to establish appropriate health protocols and ensure that they are adhered to in order to avoid the “Cuba virus” with new infections and the emergence of new mutations.”

Brazil intervened last week to rescue the tournament after the South American Football Confederation “CONMEBOL” removed Argentina from the hospitality accounts.

But Brazil is also suffering from “Covid-19”, and experts warn that it is facing a new boom that a major international sports tournament may exacerbate.

The epidemic has so far claimed the lives of nearly 475,000 people in Brazil, which ranks second in terms of the number of deaths behind the United States.

The Supreme Court had agreed to consider two calls submitted by the National Metalworkers Union and opposition member of Parliament Julio Delgado and his Brazilian Socialist Party.

The National Metalworkers’ Union believes that hosting the tournament “risks causing an increase in injuries and deaths from Covid-19,” the court said in a statement agreeing to hear the case.

As for Delgado and the Brazilian Socialist Party, they consider that hosting “violates the basic rights to life and health.”

Several other requests to prevent the tournament have also been filed in different courts, including another to the Supreme Court by the leftist Workers’ Party of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a potential opponent of Jair Bolsonaro in next year’s presidential election.

Strong local opposition

The players of the Brazilian national team had expressed their opposition to the establishment of the continental championship on their soil, especially since Brazil is considered one of the countries most affected by “Covid-19”.

The players of the national team issued a statement following their match at dawn Tuesday-Wednesday in the continent’s qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, saying, “We are against organizing the Copa America, but we will never say no to the Brazilian national team.”

It was reported that Neymar and his teammates with coach Tite were not at all aware that the tournament would move to their country.

The players pointed their arrows at CONMEBOL, expressing “our dissatisfaction with CONMEBOL’s handling of the Copa America. Recent events lead us to believe that the process of organizing the tournament is inappropriate.”

The Continental Federation is struggling to hold the continental championship, which was originally postponed from last summer due to the repercussions of the Corona virus.

Hosting the tournament has become a contentious and political issue in the country, especially after right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who regularly defied the advice of experts on containing the epidemic, gave his blessing to host it, ignoring the advice of epidemiologists who expressed their concerns, like some coaches and players of the ten participating countries.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro also announced that he would not hesitate to cancel the Copa America matches scheduled in the city in the event that the Corona virus pandemic worsened.

“I do not see any point in hosting the Copa America matches,” Eduardo Paes said in his weekly press conference on the health situation.

In contrast, Brazilian officials said matches will be played without fans, with mandatory tests imposed on teams every 48 hours, in addition to imposing restrictions on their movement and the use of chartered flights to take them to matches in the four host cities of Rio, Brasilia, Cuiaba and Goiania.

But the Ministry of Health backed away from plans to compel players, coaches and crews to receive the anti-virus vaccine.

Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga said it was too late to ensure immunity and that side effects after the vaccine “could negatively affect the performance of players”, since the vaccine needs two weeks to take effect.


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