The Copa América in Brazil received the green light that it lacked on Thursday. Most of the magistrates of the Supreme Federal Court, the highest judicial instance of the country, have rejected by six votes to zero three actions that questioned that the championship was held in the country, alleging the health emergency due to the pandemic. Five of the 11 votes are missing to complete the plenary session and the magistrates have until 23 hours in Brasilia to reveal them, but it is unlikely that they will reverse the current result.
The tournament, which has landed in Brazil after being rejected by Argentina and Colombia, is the target of criticism due to the severity of the pandemic in the country. Last Tuesday, the players of the Brazilian team published a manifesto in which they affirmed that they were against the organization of the Cup. However, they did not specify the reasons, did not mention the pandemic and confirmed their participation.
The Copa América reached the Supreme Court on June 8, when its president, Luiz Fux, accepted the request for an extraordinary request to analyze the matter. They thus responded to two requests to suspend the tournament: one from federal deputy Julio César Delgado, from the Brazilian Socialist Party, and another from the National Confederation of Metalworkers. There is a third request from the Workers’ Party.
“It is a real contradiction to host an event of this magnitude at such a delicate moment, as if the current difficulties that we are already facing were not enough,” said Deputy Delgado. The president, Jair Bolsonaro, publicly defended the holding of the tournament. “The Libertadores is being played, the qualifiers [para el Mundial de Catar], the Brazilian league (…) All this fuss is because [la emisora] Balloon it does not have the image rights ”, he argued. The far-right president is a declared enemy of the powerful chain Balloon, who did not reach an agreement with Conmebol and will not broadcast the tournament.
In the session, two of the magistrates indicated that the governors have autonomy to veto the parties in their states. “This decision may not be superimposed on any type of order, neither administrative, nor of the President of the Republic and even less of a sports entity,” they argued.
The rapporteur for the action presented by the Workers’ Party, Magistrate Ricardo Lewandowski, has not voted against, but has conditioned the holding of the tournament to the presentation of strategies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus due to the parties. Lewandowski has determined that up to 24 hours before the start of the championship the Government “disclose and send to this Supreme Court a comprehensive and detailed plan on the strategies and actions that it is putting into practice, or intends to develop, to safely carry out the America’s Cup. 2021 in national territory ”.
In his decision, Lewandowski has also directly addressed the states and municipalities that will host the matches. “I also vote in favor of the Governments of the Federal District and the States of Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso and Goiás, as well as the municipalities of Rio de Janeiro, Cuiabá and Goiânia, which have expressly or tacitly consented to host the matches of the Copa América 2021, disclose and present to the Supreme Federal Court, in the same period, a similar plan ”.
Last week, the magistrate had already asked the federal government to give explanations about the decision to host the Cup in Brazil. In the fourth vote cast, Judge Edson Fachin stressed that “it is not the responsibility of the Judiciary to decide on the assumption of the risks involved in the application of a public policy, not even the risks derived from holding a sporting event”, although he has described the decision of the federal government as “reckless”.
The Copa América already has confirmed venues, dates and times. In the opening match, which will take place on Sunday, June 13, Brazil will face Venezuela at the Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia. Cuiabá, Rio de Janeiro and Goiânia will also host some matches in the competition, which is scheduled to end on July 10.