COVID-19 Ravaged Brazil To Host Copa America

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General view of the headquarters of CONMEBOL with green lights in commemoration of the "National Day to Fight Against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Girls, Boys and Adolescents" on May 31, 2021 in Asuncion, Paraguay. (Photo by Luis Vera/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Tues. June 1, 2021 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday morning he has spoken with his Cabinet and the government is on board with hosting the Copa America soccer tournament later this month.

Speaking to supporters in Brasilia, Bolsonaro said he asked health minister Marcelo Queiroga and he also agrees about hosting the event.

Brazil was chosen as host nation on Monday in a surprise decision made jointly with the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

The tournament is due to kick off on June 13 and end with the final on July 10, but the host cities have not yet been named and organizers are scrambling to put together a plan for the 10 South American teams that will fly to Brazil to take part.

This year’s edition of the Copa America, the oldest international tournament in the world, was held over from 2020 because of the pandemic.

It was supposed to be the first to be held jointly by two nations but Colombia and then Argentina pulled out. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, writing by Andrew Downie Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)