Not only it is short notice, but the alternative host is dealing with an alarming number of COVID-19 cases. Holding a tournament in these circumstances requires extremely good advanced preparation. Therefore, this decision could have serious implications for the health of the professional footballers, staff and general public.
Along with other international football stakeholders, FIFPRO has made it clear since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that public health and safety must be the overriding priority for the football industry, especially during these extraordinary times.
As the pandemic continues to weigh down public health services across South America, we respectfully ask CONMEBOL to take all measures required to make sure the competition does not put players at risk.
The latest plan to arrange - at extremely short notice - for hundreds of footballers to compete in a tournament of such complexity leaves open uncertainty for each and every one of them, and their families.
Under the current circumstances, FIFPRO would of course fully support any player that decides to withdraw from the tournament for health and safety reasons.
As with previous national team competitions during the COVID-19 emergency period, players must be able to prioritize their own and their families’ health without the risk of sanctions.