The golden opportunity for Australia and Qatar to play against football giants like Brazil, Argentina in Copa America has been devastated yet again.
The Copa America which was scheduled in 2020 was postponed by a year due to a coronavirus pandemic. Now the Copa America is scheduled for 11th June 2021. Australia and Qatar Football teams were invited to Copa America 2021.
Football Australia and Qatar have pulled out of the Copa America due to the scheduling conflict. The changes in the 2022 World Cup Qualifying due to pandemic – which means that Australia will play at least three of the last four qualifiers in June when Copa America is scheduled.
On other hand, Qatar, hosts have already qualified automatically for FIFA World Cup 2022. But they are currently playing the qualifiers to secure a place in the 2023 Asian Cup. They need to secure the top spot in Group E to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup.
On Wednesday morning, Football Australia chief executive James Johnson in a statement said,
It is with great disappointment that Australia cannot feature at the Copa America in 2021. The international football calendar, including our FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification schedule, has been significantly disrupted over the past 12 months by the COVID-19 pandemic. To have participated in such a prestigious competition and to experience the unique South American football culture would have been a thrill for Australian players, staff and fans alike … we remain hopeful for an opportunity to participate in future editions of the competition.
Who Will Replace Qatar and Australia?
As a replacement, Australia recommended India as their replacement. Even the organizers were excited to have India at Copa America. But according to some reports, similar scheduling issues have cost India to play at Copa America. Mexico and the USA remain favorites to replace Qatar and Australia at Copa America.