BUENOS AIRES (AP) – Qatar and Australia will not participate in the next Copa América due to calendar problems, a CONMEBOL official confirmed on Tuesday.
Both teams had been invited to participate in the continental competition co-organized by Argentina and Colombia between June 11 and July 10 of this year.
Gonzalo Belloso, CONMEBOL’s director of development, pointed out that the Asian Confederation has scheduled commitments on the same dates.
“They won’t be able to come,” Belloso said.
In a statement, the Qatar Football Association detailed that the decision not to play “was made after it was shown that the match schedule of the Copa América clashes with the dates of the 2023 Asian Cup and World Cup qualifiers. 2022 “.
FIFA rescheduled those commitments for June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Copa América was to be played on the same dates in 2020 but was postponed to the following year due to COVID-19.
Both teams will not be replaced in the Copa América. The groups and calendar will remain as they are until now, according to Belloso.
Australia was part of Group A along with Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. While Qatar was going to play in the B with Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru.
The South American teams will have a free day on the day they were supposed to face their Asian rivals.
Belloso also indicated that CONMEBOL works so that the stadiums of the contest can host fans at 30% of their capacity.
“The idea is that you can play with a percentage of the public in the stadiums, we are thinking about variants from other parts of the world such as selling tickets with negative PCR (from the fans) or giving vaccinated people the possibility to ask for vaccination certificates” , detailed the leader.
Belloso clarified that the last word will be given by the health authorities of the host countries.