BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - A decision on who will host next month’s Copa America will be made by next week and Chile could join Argentina as co-hosts, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Thursday.
The 2021 tournament, which was held over from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, was due to be held jointly in Colombia and Argentina but CONMEBOL removed Colombia as co-hosts last week due to ongoing civil unrest there.
The oldest international tournament in the world features all 10 South American nations and is due to kick off on June 13 and last until July 10.
"We are in the process of analysis," Gonzalo Belloso, CONMEBOL’s secretary general told Argentina’s Radio Red.
"Despite the little time remaining, we are managing to stay calm and make a decision next week. We have spoken with Chile, which could take over the part left by Colombia.
"Argentina will surely be the organizer of part (of the Copa) as was agreed," he added. "It may be one part in Chile and another in Argentina, or all in one country.”
His comments came a day after CONMEBOL issued a statement saying it had received a protocol from the Argentine government to host all the tournament's 28 games there.
A senior official in the Argentine government said the country’s public health ministry was studying the proposal.
Argentina has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases this month, with the government last weekend imposing 10 days of strict lockdown.
(Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo in Buenos Aires; writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond)