Brazil may be hosting the Copa America, but it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian soccer team will participate in the tournament due to the country’s uncontrolled pandemic.
During a press conference on Thursday, Tite said that his players had requested a meeting with Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) President Rogerio Caboclo to discuss the situation.
According to Brazilian media, the players have discussed the possibility of not competing in the tournament, which begins on June 13.
Casemiro, the Brazilian soccer team captain, also spoke after Brazil’s victory over Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier on Friday, becoming the first national player to speak publicly since Brazil was named the Copa America host on Monday.
To “not lose focus from the World Cup qualifier,” the Real Madrid soccer star confirmed that the players will go public about the issue on Tuesday after the match against Paraguay on June 8.
“Everyone knows our stance (on the issue),” said Casemiro. “Tite made it clear. We want to express our opinion, whether it’s right or not, I don’t know, but we want to express it.
“Let’s talk at the right time. We are all together when someone speaks, speaks for everyone (on the team). It has to be unanimous, all together,” Casemiro told Brazilian Globo television channel.
Brazil was announced as the new host of the Copa America in a surprising move by CONMEBOL, South America’s Football Confederation, in agreement with the Brazilian federal government, led by President Jair Bolsonaro, due to sanitary and political issues involving Argentina and Colombia, the tournament’s original hosts.
The Copa America’s new venue has been met with a barrage of criticism from both the South American football community and Brazilian public figures.
The tournament will be held in Brazil for the second year in a row, with the country losing more lives to the novel coronavirus than any other country except the United States.
According to data released by Brazil’s Health Ministry on Thursday, there were 1,682 Covid-19 deaths and 83,391 new cases.
The worldwide players’ union, FIFPro, has expressed “serious concerns” about the Copa America being moved with such little notice, and says it will back any players who decide it is unsafe to compete.
“The latest plan to arrange — at extremely short notice — for hundreds of footballers to compete in a tournament of such complexity leaves open uncertainty for each and every one of them, and their families,” FIFPro said in a statement.
“As with previous national team competitions during the COVID-19 emergency period, players must be able to prioritize their own and their families’ health without the risk of sanctions.”