The Copa America due to kick off in June in Argentina and Colombia was on Tuesday (Mar 17) postponed by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers CONMEBOL said.
|Sanchez starred for Chile in the Copa America AFP/Douglas MAGNO |
The announcement came shortly after UEFA's similar decision to also push back Euro 2020 by 12 months.
The Copa is South America's main continental competition between national sides and had been scheduled to run between Jun 12-Jul 12.
The competition was being staged for the first time in two countries rather than one.
The finals featuring 12 teams, for this edition included invitees Australia and Qatar.
"It's an extraordinary measure due to an unexpected situation, and therefore responds to the fundamental need to avoid an exponential evolution of the virus," said CONMEBOL.
The tournament is now rescheduled to run from Jun 11-Jul 11 2021.
The decision was taken in conjunction with UEFA's decision to postpone Euro 2020 to 2021.
"We also thank UEFA and its president Aleksander Ceferin for working together and the co-ordinated decision to also postpone the 2020 Euros for the betterment of the whole football family," added CONMEBOL.
The South American governing body had decided to align the Copa, which mostly used to be played in odd years, to the Euros in order to reduce the impact on European clubs, where a large number of South American international players ply their trade.
Club football all over the world has been suspended due to the coronavirus leaving teams and leagues sweating on whether they will be able to finish the current season.
Many governments have imposed travel restrictions, bans on sports events and even total lockdowns on their populations' movements.
According to the latest figures more than 180,000 people worldwide have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak with 7,400 people dying from the COVID-19 disease.
The suspension of the Copa and Euros increases the chances of domestic leagues being brought to a conclusion, as long as such social limitations are lifted in the coming weeks or months.