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Copa America: Renan Calheiros urged Neymar not to particiapte in death championship

Brazil’s senator Renan Calheiros, an exponent of the investigation, referred to Copa America as the “death championship” on Tuesday and asked Brazil national team star Neymar not to participate in the tournament.

Renan Calheiros told Radio Eldorado, “Neymar, don’t enter the fray in this Copa America while your friends, your relatives, your acquaintances keep dying and the vaccine doesn’t reach our country. This is not the championship we have to compete in. We have to compete in the vaccination championship. In this championship, you have to score goals to change our score.”

“It just then came to our notice [vaccination], we are in the last [few] place. In the “death championship”, we are in second place, with the second-highest number of deaths in the world. The Brazilian team cannot agree with this. UTIs and graveyards are full. Under what circumstances will we celebrate the goal for Brazil?” the senator added.

According to the World Health Organization, 60 million doses of the vaccine have been given in Brazil. The 2020 Copa América was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and was to take place in both Argentina and Colombia from 13 June to 10 July, the first time in the tournament’s history to be held jointly.

However, following protests across the country, Colombia was stripped of co-hosting responsibilities on 20 May, sparked by a controversial tax reform introduced by President Ivan Duque before Argentina followed suit on 31 May.

CONMEBOL, the Confederation of South American Football, did not specify why the tournament was scrapped from Argentina, but the country is currently suffering from a surge in coronavirus cases, with an average of more than 30,000 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Bolsonaro announced that the Copa América would be hosted in the Federal District of Brazil and the states of Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso, and Goiás, and said that all four state governors have agreed to host the tournament.

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