Copa América fans carry fake COVID reports


Copa America final in Rio with 7000 fans Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said guests at the Copa América Final on July 10th brought false COVID-19 tests to Maracanã Stadium in Brazil. Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 to win Copa América.

‘USA Today’ stated that the South American governing body said in a statement it detected “a considerable amount of fraudulent PCR tests” brought by accredited guests. It added those people will not enter the stadium.

The statement added, “All guests will have to present a negative test from a laboratory to be able to attend. There will be no exception. It is recommended that the printed test is available at all times so it can be verified and avoid setbacks.”

CONMEBOL did not give the exact figure as to how many false tests were found.

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) is the continental governing body of football in South America (apart from Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana), and it is one of FIFA’s six continental confederations. The oldest continental confederation in the world, its headquarters are located in Luque, Paraguay, near Asunción. CONMEBOL is responsible for the organization and governance of South American football’s major international tournaments. With 10-member football associations, it has the fewest members of all the confederations in FIFA.

The 2021 Copa América Final was a football match to determine the winners of the 2021 Copa América. The match was the 47th final of the Copa América, a quadrennial tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the Member-Associations of CONMEBOL. The match was held at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 10th, 2021.

Copa América or CONMEBOL Copa América, known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship, is the main men’s football tournament contested among national teams from South America. It is the oldest still-running international football competition, as well as the third most watched in the world. The competition determines the champions of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to compete.

The78,838-capacity Maracanã Stadium, officially named Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, is an association football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium is part of a complex that includes an arena known by the name of Maracanãzinho, which means ‘The Little Maracanã’ in Portuguese.

The ‘USA Today’ further stated that the Rio de Janeiro City Hall decided on July 9th to allow 10 percent of the 78,000-seat stadium’s capacity at the Final, with no ticket sales. CONMEBOL would have to issue accreditations to the guests and fulfill multiple recommendations.

CONMEBOL allowed Brazil’s and Argentina’s soccer bodies to invite up to 2,200 guests each. Many of those were gathering outside the ticket offices at the Maracanã for their accreditations and invitations with no regard to social distancing and hours before kickoff.

It was mask mandatory for guests inside the venue and keeping a distance of two meters among each other. No food and drinks were allowed.

The Maracanã played host to about 60,000 fans in the previous Copa America final in 2019, when Brazil beat Peru 3-1.

The Argentine Football Association said 2,100 tickets were delivered to nationals living in Brazil, including footballers, coaches and staffers of Brazilian clubs.

Brazil is one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19. It so far counts more than 531,000 known deaths, second only to the United States, though the ferocity of the pandemic has waned in the nation this month.

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