Argentina offers to host Copa America after Colombia’s exit


BUENOS AIRES — Argentina offered Wednesday to stage the entire Copa America after Colombia was dropped as a tournament co-host last week.

Argentinian President Alberto Fernández introduced “a strict protocol so Copa America is held in this country” to Alejandro Domínguez, the head of South American soccer’s governing body CONMEBOL, both parties said in a statement.

The tournament is set to kick off June 13 with a final scheduled for July 10. It was initially scheduled for 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its postponement.

Last week, CONMEBOL rejected a request from the Colombian government to again postpone Copa America to the end of the year. The request came at the same time protests against President Iván Duque are rocking the country.

Argentina is facing a surge of coronavirus infections, with strict lockdown measures imposed last weekend amid a 7-day average of 35,000 cases and 500 deaths.

The meeting between took place at the presidential residence of Olivos. The statement said Fernández and Domínguez analysed “organizational and logistical aspects — with the possible inclusion of additional host cities – and all that regards health protocols.”

Fernández and Domínguez agreed that the last word on the tournament protocols will come from the country’s health ministry.

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