Sunday, March 14, 2021

Cancelled football in South America

The South American World Cup qualifiers that were to take place in two weeks have been cancelled due to COVID. Or at least indirectly: the problem is that quarantine requirements in Europe has made it unlikely that most Europe-based players will be allowed by their employers to travel for the World Cup qualifiers. And obviously, nobody wants to play without their best players, so not only for the health risks, cancellation seems a very sensible decision.

In the meantime, the Copa America has still not been cancelled. It is still to take place in June-July, co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia. The two invited teams, Australia and Qatar, have both announced that they will not participate, leaving the 10 South American sides in the competition. There seems to be an exaggerated optimism that by June the problems of the European-based players will be solved, but besides this, a carelessness about the potential for the virus spreading in a continent that is already hugely affected by the pandemic. In this sense, cancellation seems like the most sensible option: not just postponement, like in 2020, but a full cancellation, and wait for better times.

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