Copa America limps to start line despite pandemic

Copa America limps to start line despite pandemic

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil kicks-off the Copa America that almost never was on Sunday, on home soil for the second time in three years with minnows Venezuela as their opponents in a tournament already dominated by issues off the pitch. After an often absurd odyssey, the 2020 Copa America kicks off a year late, in a different country and with fewer teams -- and, most perplexingly, in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic raging even more fiercly than it was 12 months ago when the health situation was deemed too dangerous to play. Co-hosts Argentina and Colombia were stripped of their rights at the 11th hour, due mostly to the deteriorating pandemic situations in those countries but also deadly social unrest in the latter. In stepped Brazil, supported by the country's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has made a name for himself downplaying the seriousness of the novel coronavirus. Two years after the Selecao won a ninth title, also on home soil, Brazil are hosting the tournament even though the country has the world's second highest Covid-19 death toll after …
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