Tite’s press conference was scheduled to start at 6:30 pm this Thursday, in Beira-Rio, after the last training session before the duel with Ecuador in the World Cup qualifiers. But there was a delay of almost two hours. The reason: the players from the national team working in Europe held a meeting with the technical committee and the direction of the CBF, as they do not want to compete in the Copa America, which will be held in Brazil and will start on 6/13.
The information was first disclosed by Rádio Gaúcha. She said a source who attended the meeting said the players’ decision was unrelated to sanitary conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic. The athletes claim that the Copa América technically adds little to the team. After all, you face the same opponents in the Qualifiers. And the main thing: playing the Copa America, players who play in Europe would miss their vacation.
Because of that, the press conference was very tense. Tite and Captain Casemiro were expected to be present. The player did not attend. Tite tried to dodge, but confirmed the meeting and the content of the conversation. What’s more: the coach seems to agree with the athletes.
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“We have a clear opinion. And I’ll explain it in chronological sequence. Juninho and I (NR: National Team coordinator) expressed our opinion and asked the athletes, before training, that they work and stay focused on our preparation for the game against Ecuador. Players attended to us. But they asked for a conversation with the president after training. The athletes were clear about what they wanted in this conversation,” said Tite, then concluded:
“We would like to, at an opportune moment, express what we think. But let’s not talk now because we have the qualifiers, one this Friday and the other on Tuesday. At the end of that, the situation will be clear. Finishing the two games, we will talk”.