Radio Ambulante Roundtable on Copa América 2015: FIFA Corruption, Team Analyses and Predictions

Imagen del Estadio Nacional de Santiago de Chile, sede de la Copa América 2015, el torneo interclubes más importante de Suramérica. Foto: Gerardo Diego Ontiveros

The National Stadium of Santiago in Chile, host of the 2015 Copa América, South America's most important interclub tournament. Photo taken from Gerardo Diego Ontiveros’ Flickr account under teh Creative Commons license.

Daniel Alarcón, executive producer of our partner Radio Ambulante, speaks with the following three journalists regarding the 2015 Copa América that began last week on June 11th in Chile: Juan Pablo Meneses of Chile, author of “Niños futbolistas” (Children soccer players); Hernando Álvarez of Colombia, director of BBC Mundo; and Gerardo Lissardy of Uruguay, correspondent for BBC Mundo in Rio de Janeiro.

Among the 12 nations that are competing in South America's most important—and oldest—soccer championship are: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Mexico, and Jamaica.

Alarcón and his guests analyze what implications the FIFA scandal might have on Latin American soccer, and in light of the most recent bribes being linked to Copa América, there was even doubt as to whether the tournament would still be held. Here is what Meneses had to say:

At some point when the first sanction scandals began, it was thought that the Copa América could be suspended; and newspapers mentioned the possible consequences that the championship could have seeing as how Chile's soccer president is almost directly mentioned as having received 3 million dollars…Former Chilean soccer president Harold Mayne-Nicholls was a FIFA presidential candidate and was also very involved in FIFA. So this issue has been dealt with on a very intimate level here because the most recent bribes are also linked to the Copa América […]

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the corruption scandal is a legal matter and “soccer goes on”.

They also discussed the players; there will be almost 100 players who belong to five of Europe's most important soccer leagues, such as: Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar (Brazil), Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal (Chile), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Roque Santa Cruz (Paraguay), Paolo Guerrero (Perú), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), and Juan Arango (Venezuela).

A few of the topics brought up include discussions and analyses regarding the teams’ history and current status (Argentina, Chile, and Colombia being amongst the favorites) along with each giving their forecast as to who will arrive at the finals and be crowned champion.

Hernando Álvarez:

I'm going to throw myself out there and say Chile's going to be champ. I believe in Chile; I think Colombia will get to at least the semi-finals.

Juan Pablo:

For the final, and I don't know why, but I see Argentina and Brazil, I don't know why, but I'd like to see that.

Gerardo Lissardy:

To me, the champ will be Argentina. It's the best team in this Copa América seeing its history, it's a two-time World Cup winner, it has Messi, the best player in the world…and also their players have been playing together for a long time, you know? And I think they'll overcome their rival [Brazil]; it [Argentina] has everything to win this Copa América. Now, I dare to say it would be a surprise, well, it would be a surprise if Chile won playing at home, but they can play a great game as well.

Listen to the roundtable (in Spanish) below:

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