Brazil, finally, will play the Copa América. The decision of the footballers has taken place after the suspension of the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, Rogerio Caboclo, and in the midst of political polarization in social networks. The position of the Brazilians has been advanced by the Globo (GE) portal and the players will make it public in a statement after the match against Paraguay on Tuesday in the qualifying rounds for Qatar 2022.
According to Globo, the manifesto is expected to include criticism from the soccer players, led by Neymar, about the way the event was organized in the midst of the pandemic, as it was transferred to Brazil two weeks before its start. However, the players want to avoid a “politicization” of the matter, despite the waves of criticism involving the supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro and Tite, the coach of the national team. The Globo news portal found that the greatest reason for the dissatisfaction of the players was personified in the president of the Brazilian Federation, who did not reveal to them the possibility that the championship would be held in Brazil before the official announcement and would be responsible for the Political discussion would have invaded the atmosphere of the selection. Therefore, the fall of Caboclo, due to an accusation of abuse, and keeping Tite in the position of coach, were followed by the agreement of the players to participate in the tournament.
The debate about the celebration of the Copa América in the South American country most affected by the coronavirus also exists among the players since the announcement of the new venue. The athletes of the Uruguayan and Argentine national teams have expressed their concern about playing in Brazil and the possibility of a boycott between the national teams has been considered, but it has been ruled out by their own federations. Argentina and Uruguay, for example, have already confirmed their participation in the tournament, although the latter has revealed that it will focus on Buenos Aires. Brazil is preparing to play in Brasilia next Sunday the 13th against Venezuela, at the start of the Copa América.
The outcome, so far, comes after a political pulse involving the Bolsonaro government and the coach of the Brazilian team. As revealed by the SporTV journalist, André Rizek, when the president of the Federation, Rogerio Caboclo, promised Jair Bolsonaro the removal of the coach after the public display of discomfort from Tite and his cast over the holding of the Copa América in Brazil. Caboclo ended up being suspended for accusations of sexual harassment before fulfilling the promise, which, at least for now, prevented Bolsonaro from repeating the interference of the military dictatorship in the most representative entity of Brazilian football. In 1970, the dictator Emílio Garrastazu Médici asked for the head of João Saldanha, who was directing the Brazilian team months before the three-time world championship in Mexico.
The discontent on the part of the Government began when Tite was the first of the Brazilian delegation to talk about the celebration of the South American tournament in Brazil. After the refusal of Argentina and Colombia, Conmebol signed the agreement with the Brazilian authorities so that the edition, two weeks after its start, would move to the country most affected by covid-19 on the continent. The decision has ignited the debate about the problems of a championship of these proportions that is currently being held in Brazil, including among the Brazilian players themselves. “We have a clear position, but we are not going to express it now,” said Tite on June 3, 48 hours after the confirmation of the Copa América in Brazil.
Despite not having clarified the position, since then the hashtag #TiteComunista has become one of the most commented topics on Twitter. Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, eldest son of the Brazilian president, corroborated the protests, calling the coach a “flatterer of Lula.” “It was enough that the CBF asked President Bolsonaro for permission to happen here in Brazil for Tite to take a political position,” he said. Hamilton Mourão, vice-president, was ironic about the possible departure of the commander by offering him the position at a club in Mato Grosso that recently fired its coach: “Cuiabá needs a coach.” “The football coach has to be focused on football,” Tite said on that Monday trying to close the dispute.