Brazil’s European-based players are ready to sensationally quit the Copa America, with Covid-19 concerns threatening to derail the entire tournament.
The Copa America was moved to Brazil last week after Argentina and Colombia were dropped as co-hosts.
Colombia were the first to withdraw after large-scale protests against President Ivan Duque, before Argentina followed their lead due to the coronavirus pandemic still wreaking havoc across South America.
The tournament was then handed to holders Brazil, despite the country still dealing with it’s own Covid complications.
There have been more than 470,000 deaths in the nation since the start of the pandemic, with many experts anticipating a third wave of infections this month.
Fixtures are set to kick-off in just ten days, when the Selecao face Venezuela in Brasilia.
However, according to reports, several of Brazil’s star players could yet pull out of the tournament and have requested a meeting with the technical committee of the tournament.
Radio Gaucha suggested that the players residing in Europe delayed training on Thursday, until a face-to-face meeting was agreed upon.
Their squad includes several Premier League players, including Liverpool ’s Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City ’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Thiago Silva of Chelsea, Manchester United midfielder Fred, Everton striker Richarlison and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz.
AP reported that players will make an official decision following their two World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay.
Manager Tite had confirmed that certain members of the squad had made contact with CONMEBOL president Rogerio Caboclo, but will refrain from making any public statements at this time.
“They have an opinion, they exposed it to the president…and they will expose it to the public at the appropriate time. That is why our captain Casemiro is absent today,” Tite admitted.
“We asked our athletes to focus only on the match against Ecuador,” he continued. “We have a priority now, to play well and beat Ecuador. We understand that after the two rounds these situations will be clear.”
“I am not avoiding answers and I am giving facts, with the understanding that I have.
“Copa America is very important. But our match tomorrow is more important.”
Brazil’s rivals Argentina have also voiced their concern at the proposed tournament, with Sergio Aguero left aghast at the decision to move the tournament.
“From what I heard in Brazil they have closed the borders too,” said the newly-signed Barcelona striker. “It is very difficult to give an opinion.
“We the players want to play. It is clear. The issue is to find a good place to play. We have to play it, there is no time… we already lost last year.
“There was a year to find a place where it could be done and what could happen… every month, two months everything changes.”
Meanwhile, FIFPro, the union for players across the globe have made it clear they will support any individual who decides not to compete in the tournament.