Buendia blow as Argentina removed as Copa America hosts
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Argentina have been removed as the hosts of the 2021 Copa America less than two weeks before the start of the competition in a bitter blow to Norwich City star Emi Buendia.
The tournament was originally set to be co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina, before the former were removed on May 20 due to widespread protests against the country's government, some of which disrupted the Copa Libertadores matches.
A surge in coronavirus cases in Argentina has led to concern over the competition, with some expecting the tournament to be cancelled or to be moved to another country with a lower infection rate. Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez said last week that priority had to be given to "to the health of human beings".
Chile and the US have been suggested as potential venues.
The 24-year-old earned his first call-up for his birth country after a sparkling season in the Championship that saw the Canaries crowned champions in the second tier. Buendia's link up with Argentina has seen him combine with Lionel Messi in training.
Despite City's star not currently being included in Argentina's Copa America squad, the CONMEBOL have permitted nations to expand their squads to 28, meaning boss Lionel Scaloni can select five additional players for his squad.
The preliminary group of 50 players can also be expanded to 60 before a final decision is made on the final squad on June 1.
- 1 Norwich City transfer rumours: Canaries keen on Cherries ace
- 2 Norwich City fans get kit help as Pukkimania sparks dash for Euros shirt
- 3 ‘Definitely was not easy’ - City striker on distressing win
- 4 'Amazing' ambition was key to Buendia's decision to choose Villa
- 5 Norwich City transfer rumours: Leeds also interested in Gunn
- 6 WINDOW WATCH: The latest City transfer news and views
- 7 Denmark star 'stabilised' after collapsing during Euros game
- 8 Left-back seals permanent Canaries exit
- 9 'Pukki will be treated like Messi or Ronaldo''
- 10 A-Z: It's not going to get any easier for Brighton
Buendia could have been provided with an opportunity to play in front of Argentinean fans if he makes the Copa America squad, something that he hasn't been able to do since the country as a youngster to head to Real Madrid.
The creative midfielder has described representing his country as a 'dream come true' and could make his international debut for Argentina on Friday when they play Chile in a World Cup Qualifier. Buendia is expected to start the game on the bench.
Arsenal and Aston Villa have been heavily linked with a move for Buendia this summer, with City valuing the playmaker at £40million. Despite relentless speculation, City are yet to receive an official bid for his services.
It is also understood that there is also interest in Buendia from abroad. Atletico Madrid have been linked with him in the past.