Eight Venezuela soccer players in Brazil for tournament test positive for COVID-19

Eight soccer players from Venezuela tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, a day before they were scheduled to play against Brazil in the Copa America tournament. 

At least four staff members with Venezula’s team have also tested positive. The infected players and staff have isolated themselves in hotel rooms, Forbes reported. Venezula announced it was naming 15 more players as replacements, The Associated Press reported

Though the Copa America is considered the most prestigious soccer tournament in Latin America, many Brazilians were not in favor of hosting it. A XP/Ipespe poll found that 64 percent of Brazilians are against holding the Copa America tournament in the country, Reuters reported


Brazil has seen a worrying number COVID-19 cases, including over 85,000 reported on Friday alone.

The country has had more than 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with at least 484,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers Brazil a Level 4 "Very high" risk category for travel due to its COVID-19 situation.

Argentina was originally slated to host the Copa America before it saw its own surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Earlier this week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made headlines when he was fined for not wearing a mask while riding his motorcycle.