Amid a wave of street protests against Colombian President Ivan Duque, South America’s football governing body CONMEBOL announced on Thursday that Colombia will not co-host next month’s Copa America. The decision has been taken less than a month before the opening match of the tournament. The development is a significant one since it was set to be the first Copa America in history to be hosted by two countries.
Earlier, the Colombian authorities had themselves asked CONMEBOL to postpone the tournament, which is being co-hosted by Argentina. In addition, Sports Minister Ernesto Lucena had suggested the competition to take place at the end of the year also citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason.
Copa America scheduled to be played between June-July window
On current schedule, Copa America is slated to be played between June 13 and July 10.
The football governing body of South America said in a statement it was impossible to postpone the tournament to November and has now assured that it will inform on the coming days about the relocation of the matches which were slated to happen in Colombia.
It should be noted that earlier Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez has already gone on record saying his country would consider hosting the entire Copa America if Colombia wasn’t able to co-host with them owing to the social unrest.
Protests in Colombia began in April
Notably, the protests in Colombia began in April after President Ivan Duque attempted an increase in taxes amid a global health emergency that has left millions without livelihoods.
Although the decision was withdrawn, protesters have remained on the streets and are fighting to include other of their numerous grievances.