Soccer-Australia, Qatar pull out of 2021 Copa America - CONMEBOL

Australia and Qatar, the two non-South American sides due to take part in this year's Copa America, have pulled out of the tournament, the secretary general of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Tuesday. The two teams were set to join 10 others from South America in the tournament, which will be hosted by Argentina and Colombia in June and July.

Reuters | Updated: 24-02-2021 03:20 IST | Created: 24-02-2021 03:20 IST
Soccer-Australia, Qatar pull out of 2021 Copa America - CONMEBOL

Australia and Qatar, the two non-South American sides due to take part in this year's Copa America, have pulled out of the tournament, the secretary general of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Tuesday.

The two teams were set to join 10 others from South America in the tournament, which will be hosted by Argentina and Colombia in June and July. "Qatar and Australia will not come to play in the Copa America," Gonzalo Belloso told Argentine radio station Radio Red.

The Qatari FA apologised for the withdrawal which it said followed the Asian Football Confederation's "decision to postpone the joint qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup to be held in June 2021, which conflicts with the schedule of matches... in the Copa America." As members of the Asian confederation, Australia are also affected by the changes, which are connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced confederations to reschedule games.

“The Socceroos’ players and staff were greatly looking forward to the unique opportunity of playing in the Copa America and it is unfortunate that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be unable to attend in 2021,” Australia's head coach Graham Arnold said. “On behalf of the team I thank CONMEBOL for the invitation, which would have presented our team with a fantastic opportunity to test itself against some of the world’s best.”

The Copa America, the oldest tournament in international soccer, was held over from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is due to be hosted in two nations for the first time. The 12 sides were to be split into northern and southern groups, with Qatar playing in the northern section against Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and hosts Colombia.

Australia were in the southern group with Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and hosts Argentina. A CONMEBOL source told Reuters they will look at the possibility of inviting two other teams to replace Australia and Qatar but the tournament will go ahead regardless, with 10 or 12 sides.

"Nothing will change, we will play with 10 if we have to," the source said on condition of anonymity. "No matter what happens, it's the same format, same prize money, everything stays the same."

The tournament is scheduled to kick off in Buenos Aires on June 11 and end with the final in Barranquilla, Colombia on July 10.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why unequal access to coronavirus vaccines is a threat to us all

... ...

India’s love affair with fossil fuels: the path to sustainable development?

... ...

Videos

Latest News

AG sues Texas utility over customers' sky-high energy bills

Texas attorney general said Monday hes suing electricity provider Griddy for passing along massive bills to its customers during last months winter storm.The lawsuit comes days after Texas power grid manager effectively shut down Griddy by ...

Former French president Sarkozy convicted of corruption, handed prison sentence

A French court found former President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of trying to bribe a judge and influence peddling on Monday and sentenced him to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who led France and strode the world st...

Polish and Chinese presidents discussed buying Chinese COVID vaccine -PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda talked with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about buying the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, his aide Krzysztof Szczerski told state-run news agency PAP.At the request of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the pre...

FEATURE-Vulnerable children stay shut indoors in UK with no vaccine in sight

By Emma Batha LONDON, March 1 Thomson Reuters Foundation - When Britains children return to school next week as the country eases its third lockdown, six-year-old Daniel Meredith will not be joining his friends but will remain shut indoors ...

Give Feedback