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Copa America opens in Brazil in the context of the COVID crisis | Coronavirus pandemic news

The long-delayed football match comes at a time when the pandemic in Brazil is still spreading. The death toll in Brazil has exceeded 486,000.

After being unsure in which country it will be held, the Supreme Court of Brazil may postpone a hearing on it and the coronavirus infections reported by the three teams The long-delayed America’s Cup The football championship opened in the Brazilian capital.

Host Brazil opened its international match against Venezuela at an empty Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia at 6pm local time (2100 GMT) on Sunday.

The first game was held a few days after the local health authorities reported that Venezuelan players and staff were infected. Test positive COVID-19 ravaged Brazil and caused more than 486,000 deaths.

CONMEBOL, the South American Football Federation, stated that a total of 13 members of the Venezuelan national team delegation, including the coaching staff, tested positive for the virus.

Bolivia later stated that three of its players and a coach also tested positive and were quarantined before the team’s debut against Paraguay on Monday. On Sunday, two members of the Colombian delegation also tested positive.

The Copa America has always been plagued by uncertainty. Due to the pandemic, the game was postponed for 12 months and the original co-hosts Colombia and Argentina were forced to withdraw. Ongoing social unrest In the former, and The surge in COVID-19 infections In the latter.

Combibloc Announce At the end of last month, Brazil will host the game, raising new questions and concerns about whether the game will exacerbate the ongoing coronavirus crisis in this South American country.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reported in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday that Brazil is expected to reach the critical milestone of 500,000 coronavirus deaths during or immediately after the game.

According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, the country has reported more than 486,000 deaths and more than 17.3 million cases so far-health experts have warned that another wave of pandemics may emerge.

Yanakif said that the America’s Cup also coincided with the parliamentary investigation into the way the government of far-right Brazilian President Bolsonaro handled the epidemic.

Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro defended the competition [File: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters]

“Every day in Congressional investigations, people are discussing why the government is downplaying the virus. The president himself does not wear a mask, does not hold meetings, and the crowd is large. He says that he does not need to wear a mask and that he does not need to maintain social distancing. This is the sporting event. Background,” she said.

Bolsonaro, a coronavirus skeptic, was fined $108 by the State of São Paulo on Saturday for not wearing a mask at a motorcycle rally with many of his supporters. He insisted that the America’s Cup should continue.

Rodrigo Moreira, a sociologist at the Federal University of Fluminense, told AFP: “There is a vested interest in hosting the America’s Cup.”

“The government wants to show that the country is ready to host it, but in fact it is not. and [organisers] Want to guarantee their profits” comes from the TV rights and sponsorship agreements, Moreira said.

Epidemiologists, staff investigating the coronavirus parliament, and some players and coaches expressed concern about Brazil’s hosting of the game.

The country’s Supreme Court Friday rule However, the America’s Cup can continue, but the judge ordered the authorities to take additional security measures.

“It falls on [state governors and mayors] Develop appropriate health protocols and ensure compliance with these protocols to avoid the emergence of new infections and new variants of’Copavirus’,” Judge Carmen Lucia wrote in her ruling.

On June 13, the first match between Brazil and Venezuela will be held in Brasilia. The protesters held a sign outside the Mane Garrincha Stadium to protest the Copa America, which read “Bolsonaro out.” [Sergio Lima/AFP]

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