The court will hold a virtual session on Thursday after groups expressed concern about Brazil hosting a football tournament amid COVID.
The Supreme Court of Brazil has agreed to hear two requests to block the Copa America, after several groups and individuals raised concerns about the South American nation hosting the international tournament amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Justice Luiz Fux said Tuesday that, given the “exceptional nature of the case,” it had decided that the 11-member full court would take up the matter in an extraordinary virtual session on Thursday.
The ten-country championships are scheduled to begin on Sunday and run until July 10.
But some coaches, players, members of the Brazilian Senate and others have raised concerns and questions about the tournament, saying it runs the risk of worsening Brazil’s coronavirus infection rate and mortality rates.
To date, more than 16.9 million cases have been reported in Brazil and more than 474,000 people have died – the second highest fatality in the world after the United States – according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Lots of Brazilians blame far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, a COVID-19 skeptic who has rejected public health measures to curb the spread of the virus by the growing pandemic.
A Senate committee in April initiated an investigation in the handling of the coronavirus by Bolsonaro, including whether he acted too slowly and inefficiently to secure the much-needed coronavirus vaccines.
But the South American football confederation, CONMEBOL, confirmed Brazil as a host last week after Colombia and Argentina stayed as co-hosts due to continuation of restlessness in the first, and growing COVID-19 infections in the latter.
On June 6, members of the Senate committee urged organizers to postpone the tournament. They noted Brazil’s low vaccination rates, saying only more than 10 percent of the population had received the first doses of coronavirus vaccines as of Friday nationwide.
“Brazil does not offer health security to hold an international tournament of this magnitude. In addition to conveying a false sense of security and normalcy, as opposed to the reality that Brazilians live in, it would favor crowds and set a bad example, ”they said.
“We are not against the Copa America in Brazil or anywhere else. But we believe the tournament can wait until the country is ready to host it. “
On Monday, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergency program said he would advise any country hosting mass meetings to be very careful in risk management.
“We would advise any country that conducts such a mass meeting, especially in the context of community broadcasting, to be very careful in making sure it has proper risk management,” Ryan told reporters. “If this risk management cannot be guaranteed, countries should certainly reconsider their decisions to host or lead any mass meeting.”
The Brazilian Supreme Court has agreed to hear the complaints of the national union of metal workers CNTM and opposition MP Julio Delgado and his Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB).
The union argues that the organization of the tournament “runs the risk of causing an increase in infections and deaths from COVID-19,” the court said in a statement announcing it had agreed to hear the cases.
Delgado and the PSB argue that housing “violates fundamental rights to life and health,” he said.
Several petitions were also filed to block the tournament in several courts, including another in the Supreme Court by the Workers’ Party (PT) on the left of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is set up as the likely opponent. of Bolsonaro to the presidency. elections next year.
Brazilian officials have said the matches will be played without fans, with mandatory COVID-19 tests for teams every 48 hours, restrictions on their movement and contracted flights to take them to matches in the four host cities.