Argentinian president considers hosting entire Copa America

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Argentinian President Alberto Fernández said Tuesday his country would consider hosting the entire Copa America if Colombia is unable to co-host because of social unrest.

It was the first time an Argentinian official publicly acknowledged the possibility of hosting the full tournament, scheduled for June 13 to July 10.

“We can analyze organizing all of Copa America in Argentina,” Fernández told radio Diez.

Fernández’ statements came as doubts emerged about Colombia’s ability to co-host the tournament amid protests against the administration of President Iván Duque. The Colombian government insists it can.

Last week, police and protesters clashed in the cities of Pereira and Barranquilla, the latter of which is scheduled to hold the Copa America final.

A Copa Libertadores match last week between Colombia’s América de Cali and Brazil’s Atlético Mineiro was interrupted several times because of tear gas used to disperse the protesters.

The original Copa America plan has Buenos Aires hosting the opening match, a quarterfinal and a semifinal. The cities of Córdoba, Mendoza and Santiago del Estero will hold matches of Group A.

Fernández added that Copa America will be played without attendance in Argentinian stadia. More than 71,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the South American country.

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