‘They have a very clear opinion’ – Brazil boss Tite says some players oppose Copa America on home soil

Selecao captain Casemiro did not appear at a press conference on Thursday because of his displeasure about the relocated tournament

Members of the Brazil national team are deeply unhappy that the Copa America has been moved to Brazil in a last-minute switch just weeks before the start of the tournament.

Tite has revealed that there are ongoing talks between his players and confederation president Rogerio Caboclo about rejecting the switch, which was agreed upon by Brazilian authorities last week after original hosts Colombia and Argentina were deemed unsuitable to hold Copa matches. Colombia is dealing with political unrest and Argentina has been rocked by a spike in Covid cases.

Casemiro did not show up to his scheduled press conference on Thursday because of his displeasure with the situation, according to his boss, and Brazil are set to face Ecuador in World Cup qualifying on Friday with the matter still hanging over the squad.

What has been said?

“We’ve asked the athletes to focus only in the game against Ecuador,” Tite said. “Then they’ve (the players) asked to speak directly to the president (Caboclo).

“It was a very straightforward conversation. And then the players’ stance has also became very clear. We have a position but we will not reveal it now.

“Our priority now is to play well and to win against Ecuador.

“We understand that the situation will become clear after this international break. They (the players) have an opinion, they’ve told it to the president and they will tell it to the people at the right time.

“That was the reason why Casemiro, our skipper, wasn’t here for this interview.”

What’s next for Brazil?

On the pitch, Brazil will clash with Ecuador in World Cup qualifying, but off of it, it’s unclear what’s to come.

There have been protests against the government regarding the decision to bring the Copa America to the country in the wake of their own Covid contagion and economic uncertainty. However, the Brazilian players themselves have yet to speak out about why they’re against hosting the tournament.

The competition is supposed to begin on June 13.

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