The Court will hold a virtual session on Thursday after the groups raised concerns for Brazil hosting the football tournament amid COVID.
Brazil’s Supreme Court 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.
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 10-nation championships are scheduled to begin Sunday and run through July 10th.
But some coaches, players, members of the Brazilian Senate and others have raised concerns and questions about the tournament, saying it risks exacerbating already high coronavirus infection in Brazil, and death rates.
More than 16.9 million cases have been reported to date in Brazil and more than 474,000 people have died – the second highest death toll in the world after the United States – according to data from Johns Hopkins University .
Many Brazilians blame far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, a COVID-19 skeptic who has refused public health measures to ruin the spread of the virus, due to the growing pandemic.
A Senate committee in April launched an investigation in Bolsonaro’s manipulation of the coronavirus, although he acted too slowly and inefficiently to secure the much-needed anti-coronavirus vaccines.
But the South American football confederation, CONMEBOL, confirmed Brazil as guests last week after Columbia and Argentina were nixed as co-hosts due to continuous agitation in the first, and growing COVID-19 infections in the latter.
On June 6, Senate committee staff organized the organizers to postpone the tournament. They pointed to Brazil’s low vaccination rates, saying that just over 10 percent of the population had received the first doses of coronavirus vaccines as of Friday across the country.
“Brazil does not have health security to host 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 will encourage crowds of people and set a bad example, ”they said.
“We are not against the Copa America in Brazil or elsewhere. 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 warn any country hosting mass meetings to be extremely careful about managing risks.
“We would advise that any country holding such a mass meeting, particularly in the context of community outreach, be extremely careful to ensure that they have proper risk management in place,” Ryan told reporters. “If that risk management cannot be guaranteed then certainly countries should reconsider their decisions to host or manage any mass meetings.”
The Brazilian Supreme Court has agreed to hear complaints from the national union of metal workers CNTM and from opposition MP Julio Delgado and his Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB).
The union claims that the tournament host “is at risk of causing an increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths,” the court said in a statement announcing it had agreed to hear the cases.
Delgado and the PSB argue that the host “violates fundamental rights to life and health,” he said.
Several other requests to block the tournament have also been filed in various courts, including another in the Supreme Court by former Workers ’Left (PT) Party of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which is formed as and Bolsonaro’s likely opponent in the presidential election next year.
Brazilian officials have said the matches will be held without fans, with mandatory COVID-19 tests for teams every 48 hours, restrictions on their movement and charter flights to take them to matches in the four host cities.