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More cases of covid than goals in the first phase of the Copa América in Brazil

Sao Paulo, Jun 29 (.) .- The first phase of the Copa América in Brazil 2021 has ended as it began, amid harsh criticism of the “disastrous” organization, with the grass of some of the stadiums in poor condition and with more cases of covid-19 than goals scored. The football tournament began on June 13 and since then the coronavirus infections linked to the competition have been increasing, amid strong social rejection. Six out of ten Brazilians are against this Copa América, according to a recent survey by the IDEIA Institute. MORE POSITIVE THAN GOALS The problems began even before the ball started rolling with a major outbreak in the Venezuelan team. Two weeks later, the Brazilian Ministry of Health registers 198 cases of covid-19 related to the contest among the almost 30,000 PCR tests carried out, according to data released on Monday. Of this total, 57 have been between players and members of the ten teams, 137 correspond to service providers contracts for the event and 4 to Conmebol personnel, which includes referees, doctors and logistics team. In short, more positive than the 46 goals scored in the 20 group stage games. According to the ministerial portfolio, there have already been cases in the four headquarters: Brasilia, Cuiabá, Goiânia and Rio de Janeiro. The health status of the infected workers is unknown and if they were infected with any of the more aggressive SARS-CoV-2 variants in circulation, such as gamma or delta, the latter is already in the community transmission phase in Goiania. The Conmebol, organizer of the tournament, maintains that the data “reveals the high efficiency of the sanitary protocols” and takes hold that the rate of positives has dropped from 1.7% at the beginning of the competition to the 0.7% reported last day 21. For the president of the governing body of South American football, Alejandro Domínguez, there are “reasons to celebrate.” “Our protocols showed high efficiency, with 99% of negative tests. More emotions await us in the quarterfinals!”, He said on his social networks. Since the outbreak of the virus, Brazil has recorded almost 515,000 deaths and 18.5 million infected, with a daily average during the last week of 1,644 deaths and close to 70,000 cases. PENALTIES FOR CRITICS Since the opening of the tournament, rushed to Brazil with the blessing of President Jair Bolsonaro, criticism has occurred, especially from the health sector. “It was a mistake. It is not a priority for the country in the midst of a pandemic,” Carlos Lula, president of the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass) of Brazil, sentenced .. “The numbers are showing that it was a very wrong decision and it could have consequences,” Dimas Covas, director of the Butantan Institute, a leading medical research center in Brazil, told .. There have also been complaints from coaches and players, who in the previous days weighed a boycott that never materialized. Two examples. Canarinha coach Tite came to describe the organization as “disastrous”, while Bolivian striker Marcelo Martins Moreno attacked Conmebol openly. “If a person dies, what are they going to do? What they only care about is MONEY. Is the player’s life worth nothing?” The Green striker, who was isolated with covid, snapped on social networks. Conmebol has not agreed with this type of statement. Martins was fined $ 20,000 and a penalty game. To Tite, another $ 5,000. “If I’m going to talk about the field being bad, I’m going to be fined. If I’m going to talk about (the organization) being a disaster, I’m going to be fined. I’m not going to talk,” the coach said last Saturday. FIELDS IN POOR CONDITION Tite has also charged his inks against the “unfortunate” state of the grass in some of the stadiums of this Copa América, a problem that was already repeated in the 2019 edition, also held in Brazil. His complaints have focused on Rio de Janeiro’s Nilton Santos and have been shared by his Argentine counterpart, Lionel Scaloni. Neymar, the star of Canarinha, has also joined that trend. Brazil even asked to change the Rio de Janeiro fiefdom for the Pantanal Arena in Cuiabá for their quarterfinal match against Chile, but, according to the ‘GloboEsporte’ portal, Conmebol rejected that possibility due to logistical problems. In order to avoid a new embarrassment, the entity has changed, in the middle of the competition, some areas of the Maracana lawn, which will only host the final on July 10. Tite has already warned that in such a short time the field will not be in good condition. Carlos Meneses Sánchez (c) . Agency

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