Organisers of the 2019 Copa America football tournament in Brazil have said the low attendances at games “worries” them, but are positive it will improve.
Only 19,000 people showed up for yesterday’s (Sunday) game between Paraguay and Qatar at the 74,000-capacity Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
The opening match, which organisers advertised as a sell out, saw 46,000 people attend host Brazil’s game against Bolivia at the 66,000-seat Morumbi stadium.
The competition, run by South America’s football ruling body CONMEBOL, kicked off June 14 and will run through to July 7.
CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said he was concerned about the low numbers.
He said: “Of course, it’s worrying because you want lots of people to see the best players in the world in action, because South American players are the best in the world.
“This is a country which lives for football and we would like to see more people participate. Some games have had many people, others unfortunately have not had so many.
“But, overall, the feeling is very positive and I think it’s going to get better. Brazil is doing a great job at organising the tournament, at the level South America expects.”
Image: Ben Sutherland