The South American tournament was due to take place this summer, but the Covid-19 crisis has forced authorities to delay the kick off by a year
The South American Football Confederation has confirmed that the 2020 Copa America has been postponed until next year due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak.
The tournament was due to take place in Argentina and Colombia this summer, with the opening fixture between the former host nation and Chile originally scheduled for June 12 and the final pencilled in a month later on July 12.
CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez has now revealed that the competition will be staged between June 11 and July 11, 2021, with the announcement swiftly following UEFA’s decision to push back the European Championships.
Dominguez explained the decision in a short statement on Tuesday: “This is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation and responds to the fundamental need to avoid the exponential evolution of the virus.
“It wasn’t easy to take this decision but we must safeguard at all times the health of our players and all those who form part of the big South American football family.
“Have no doubts that the oldest international tournament in the world will be back stronger than ever in 2021.”
Devido à evolução mundial do Coronavírus e com o objetivo de proteger a saúde do futebol sul-americano, a CONMEBOL adia a celebração da 47 edição da Copa América de 11 de junho a 11 de julho de 2021.
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) March 17, 2020
A number of European based players would have been required to travel back to South America for the Copa America, forcing CONMEBOL to act in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
The World Health Organisation identified Europe as the new COVID-19 pandemic epicentre on Friday, with Italy the most affected country on the continent with over 27,000 recorded cases to date.