Football in Brazil amid COVID third wave

It was surprising that Brazil agreed at the 11th hour to host the Copa America football tournament, seeing global stars such as Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez of Uruguay and the hosts’ own Neymar arrive from their European clubs.

The matches are being played behind closed doors until July 10, but President Jair Bolsonaro has come under fire for giving his blessing to host the tournament in the midst of a pandemic when both Argentina and Colombia had to pull out.

Many Brazilians have voiced their opposition to the tournament. Beyond the football competition, many say the government’s pandemic management is responsible for thousands of extra deaths.

The president shows no signs of changing tack, though, and last week announced he would ask the health minister to lift the requirement to wear masks outdoors. He is also under investigation by the Senate over his chaotic pandemic management.

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