Neymar shines against Ecuador amid potential doubt of Brazil laying in the Copa America
In a tedious World Cup qualifying match in Porto Alegre on Friday, Brazil beat Ecuador 2-0 to keep their stellar record intact and remain atop the South American qualifying group for Qatar 2022.
Neymar put in a stellar performance on the evening but the major headline after the game was Brazil’s reluctance to host or even participate in the Copa America 2021 scheduled to start just days away.
After the Selecao defeated Ecuador, Casemiro, Brazil’s captain, stated that his team remains unified against hosting the Copa America.
After their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Ecuador on Friday, the midfielder claimed “everyone, including manager Tite”, is taking the stand.
He promised further information after the team’s June 8 match against Paraguay, but declined to say why the players were angry for the time being out of respect for the Brazilian Football Confederation hierarchy.
Many Brazilians are angry that football is coming to their country at this time, while the number of Covid cases is still high.
Organizers switched the competition to Brazil last week after the original co-hosts, Argentina and Colombia, backed out in the last two weeks. Argentina are battling with their own Covid crisis, while political chaos has plagues Colombia in recent months.
On June 13, the competition is set to begin. If the Brazilian players do not clear the air on the matter until after the Paraguay game, as Casemiro has advised, CONMEBOL will only have about five days to respond to their statement before the action begins.
Despite speculations of a possible boycott, no one from the organization has openly stated that it is a possibility. Everyone has chosen to keep the details of the behind-the-scenes discussions private.
Brazil’s next match is on June 8 in Asuncion against Paraguay, while Ecuador hosts Peru on the same day.