It has been a long wait for all football fans from around the globe, but it’s finally time to cheer and celebrate, as the oldest international tournament in the world takes center stage, Copa America 2021 will take place in Brazil now, and is set to start on June 13th.
There have been quite a few complications for this tournament to actually take place, so let’s just appreciate the fact that we finally get to enjoy it. Copa America was originally planned to take place in 2020, and it was going to be hosted in two different countries, Colombia, and Argentina. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament was postponed and moved to 2021, in the hopes to have a better overall picture, and hopefully have fans in the stadium again
Colombia was removed as host city by CONMEBOL recently, as heavy protests are taking place in the country, demanding social and economic change and evolution. Argentina was set to take the task, but just last Sunday, CONMEBOL made another important announcement, due to the rising Covid-19 numbers in the country, they decided to move again, and decided to take the Cup to Brazil, as the country is well prepared to take in all the action after rebuilding and getting ready for the Olympic Games in Rio first, in 2012, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the Copa America 2019 as well, among other big tournaments that have taken place there recently.
This is how Copa America 2021 will be played
Originally, 12 teams were set to play Copa America 2020, all ten CONMEBOL national teams, plus Australia and Qatar, the two previous winners of the AFC Asian Cup. However, after the pandemic hit, they both withdrew from the tournament, and CONMEBOL decided not to invite anyone else to replace them.
The ten teams are now divided into two groups, by geographical zones, South Zone, and North Zone. In the South Zone group we have Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. In the North zone group we have Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
It’s important to mention that Brazil, aside from being the host this time, is also the defending champion, after beating Peru in the final match of Copa America 2019, with a 3-1 score at Estadio Maracana, in Rio de Janeiro.
Teams will play against each other in the group stage, for a total of four matches each, and only the last one in the table will be eliminated. Four teams from each group will advance to the knockout stages, straight to quarterfinals. The group stage will take place from June 13th to June 28th, quarterfinals will take place on July 2nd and 3rd, the semifinals will be played on July 5th and 6th, the match for the third place will be on July 9th, and the big final match will take place on July 10th, great timing, just a day before the UEFA Euro final, so that we can enjoy both.