2021 in review – June

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) switched its Copa América to Brazil after stripping Argentina of the hosting rights for the tournament.

The decision was taken due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in Argentina, which was originally supposed to co-host the competition with Colombia before the latter lost its rights due to civil unrest in the country. The selection of Brazil raised eyebrows due to the COVID-19 situation in the country at the time.

COVID-19 also led to the relocation of cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup from India to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had previously stated its intention for the event to be relocated as India dealt with the impact of the pandemic. The BCCI was given until the end of June to declare itself capable of hosting the event but the International Cricket Council (ICC) ultimately moved the tournament to the UAE and Oman.

In other news, Major League Soccer franchise Columbus Crew signed locally-based fintech company Lower as the naming-rights sponsor of its new stadium.

The multi-year deal is reportedly worth between $3m (£2.2m/€2.7m) and $4m per year and officially names the stadium as Lower.com Field. The stadium, which has a capacity of 20,011, opened in July.

Elsewhere on the sponsorship front, insurance company Canada Life became the new naming-rights partner of the home of NHL ice hockey team the Winnipeg Jets as part of a 10-year deal.

Meanwhile, Premier League football club Liverpool was given the green light to expand the capacity of Anfield by around 7,000 to more than 61,000.

Liverpool was also awarded permission to hold up to six concerts and major events at the stadium for a period of five years.

Back in MLS, Austin FC opened its new Q2 Stadium in front of a sell-out crowd of 20,738.

Image: Brazilian Government/CC BY 3.0 BR/Edited for size