The Minister of Sports of Colombia, Ernesto Lucena, said this Tuesday that he sees it unfeasible that the next Copa América, scheduled in his country and in Argentina in the middle of this year, does not have an audience because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A Copa América without an audience would not make sense,” said the minister in an interview with Caracol Radio, in which he said that the authorities are working on a “biosafety protocol to have an approximate capacity of 30%.”
The high official trusts that “the vaccination process continues at the rate it is going” and that infections will continue to fall as in recent weeks.
“That will help us to have a larger capacity,” Lucena added about the Copa América in Argentina and Colombia that was supposed to be played last year but was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic and, as detailed, goes ahead because of what the presidents tell him. from the Colombian Soccer Federation (FCF), Ramón Jesurún, and from the South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol), Alejandro Domínguez. The tournament will be played from June 11 to July 10.
More than two million cases in Colombia
In Colombia, 2,255,260 cases of COVID-19 have been reported since the pandemic began and 59,866 patients have died from this disease.
On the other hand, the Sports Minister affirmed that Colombia “is fully capable of receiving the Copa América if it were to do it individually,” although he clarified that they have not received any message about a possible drop from Argentina in the organization.
Colombia, ready to be sole headquarters if Argentina resigns
“Colombia is ready to have a Copa América if it falls alone and the most important thing is to leave the message that we are working on all protocol issues for the issue of capacity, which is a concern that Conmebol has,” Lucena highlighted.
Along these lines, he pointed out that the South American Confederation has not set a “minimum capacity” and that the Government speaks of 30% because it is what its expert commission estimates for the tournament.
“We believe that we will be able with a 30% capacity and I will communicate with the president (of the South American Confederation) Domínguez to see what he is thinking with his commission of experts. But obviously a Copa América with zero public would be completely unfeasible, I am not I see that scenario at this moment and on that basis we continue working, “added Lucena.