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Likely Copa America postponement would force withdrawal of Socceroos

The Socceroos’ entrance into South American football’s showpiece is set to be scrapped with the 2020 Copa America tournament likely to be postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The South American governing body, CONMEBOL, will decide by the end of the week whether the confederation’s championships go ahead this year, but Australian national team sources are already preparing for a likely postponement that will force the Socceroos’ withdrawal.

The Socceroos were set to play Lionel Messi at the 2020 Copa America.

The Socceroos were set to play Lionel Messi at the 2020 Copa America.Credit:AP

FFA sources informed the Herald they do not expect the tournament to go ahead in June and July this year due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If that is the decision made by Conmebol, the Socceroos will not be able to participate in a rescheduled tournament in 2021 due to their already congested scheduled over the next 18 months caused by a backlog of World Cup qualifying games that have already been postponed.

Co-hosts of the 2020 Copa America, Colombia and Argentina, announced they will close borders to all non-residents and diplomats for at least 15 days in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and a lock-down in both countries looks increasingly likely.

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