Despite fears of COVID, Brazil’s Supreme Court gives the green light for the Copa America | Football News
Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the country can still host the America’s Cup, clearing the way for this troubled football tournament to be held within three days.
At a special virtual meeting held on Thursday, most of the 11 judges of the High Court ruled against the plaintiff, who believed that the South American Championship posed an unacceptable health risk.
However, multiple judges ordered the government to take additional security measures.
Judge Carmen Lucia wrote in her ruling: “(The governors and mayors of the states) have the responsibility to establish appropriate hygiene procedures and ensure that they are respected to avoid the emergence of’Copavirus’, new infections and new variants.”
The three cases in court are the organizers’ latest-and perhaps the last-fringe moments, and they seem determined to hold the world’s oldest international football championship regardless of obstacles.
Since the pandemic has been postponed for a year, when the original co-hosts Colombia and Argentina failed at the last minute, the Copa America was almost disbanded-the former was due to violent anti-government protests, and the latter was due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
With the tighter schedule for the first game this Sunday, Brazil stepped in as the emergency host of the 10-nation Championship last week.
But the decision is extremely controversial: Brazil is also affected by COVID-19, which has caused nearly 480,000 deaths in the country, second only to the United States.
The far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who often ignores expert advice to curb the pandemic, expressed his blessing for hosting the game.
He welcomed the court’s decision and predicted that Brazil will “slaughter” Venezuela in the first game.
But epidemiologists warned that Brazil is currently facing a surge of new cases, and said that hosting important international sporting events may exacerbate the health crisis.
Infectious disease expert Jose David Urbanz told AFP: “It is impossible to describe how crazy it is to try to host such a large-scale event here.”
The Supreme Court petition was filed by the National Metal Workers’ Union, the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and the Workers’ Party (PT) of former President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, the latter may be Bolsona Luo’s opponent in the presidential election next year.
They believe that the competition has the risk of exacerbating the health crisis and “violating the basic rights of life and health.”
Bolsonaro and South American Football Federation CONMEBOL insist that the game will be safe.
Brazilian officials requested that the game be played without fans, including the final in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium on July 10.
The team will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test every 48 hours. Their movements will be restricted, and they will take charter flights to the four host cities for the competition.
However, the Ministry of Health on Monday abandoned its plan to require all players, coaches and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga said that it is too late to ensure immunity and that side effects after vaccination “may affect player performance.”
The organizers faced strong opposition. Two top sponsors, Mastercard and beer giant Ambev, said on Wednesday that they will withdraw their brands from the tournament. Diageo, the third alcoholic beverage company, followed suit on Thursday.
Many players and coaches criticized this event, including Luis Suarez of Uruguay, Sergio “Quin” Aguero of Argentina and the entire Brazilian national team.
According to reports, Neymar and the team-as well as Brazil’s coach Titt-were caught off guard by the news that their country was about to host, and there were rumors that they would boycott it.
They failed to do this in the end, but were outspoken about the criticism of CONMEBOL.
“We are opposed to organizing the America’s Cup,” they said in a joint statement on Tuesday.