Brazil will go into Copa America as the in-form team despite misgivings over being the host
After a week of hinting and teasing, the Brazilian soccer team has made its voice clear about their participation in Copa America in Brazil. That decision is that the team are not one-hundred percent happy about it, but they will be there. This is a party where it could be the hosts hanging about in the kitchen while everyone else has the fun.
Soon after beating Paraguay on Tuesday to make it six victories from six in 2022 World Cup qualifying, the Brazilian players put out a joint statement on social media to declare that "we are not satisfied with the conduct shown by CONMEBOL relating to Copa America."
What that conduct may be is not entirely clear as it is not alluded to, but the implication is that the constant changes of host country and Brazil's problems in dealing with a COVID-19 wave are certainly the front runners in terms of grievances.
"We are against the organisation of Copa America, but we will never say no to the Brazilian national team," said the statement clearing the way for Brazil to kick off the tournament with a match against Venezuela on Sunday.
There is another hurdle for CONMEBOL, South America's governing body, to clear before the final sprint to the finish line. Two cases calling for the blocking of the Copa America in Brazil will be heard in the country's Supreme Court on Thursday but realistically do not have a huge chance of success considering the government's strong insistence that Brazil will be the third hosts of Copa America in a fortnight.
Spain's double bubble trouble
Spain's preparations for Euro 2020 are getting increasingly complicated with two teams training in parallel in two NBA-style isolation bubbles. The first contains the original squad but has two members now testing positive for COVID-19 - Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente. That group will not able to train together until the team's opening match in the competition.
For this reason the country's U-21 side faced Lithuania in a friendly on Tuesday rather than the first team which has its first Euro 2020 match against Sweden on Monday. The U-21 version of Spain came out as 4-0 winners.
Eleven of that team have now been brought into a back-up bubble of players which now totals 17 and is training in a separate location to the main squad and is on standby in case of a full COVID-19 outbreak. "There could be more," was the warning from Spanish Soccer Federation President, Luis Rubiales on the possibility of more cases developing in the first team.
Special permission is now being sought to vaccinate the main group of players and support staff, despite shots only being available to the wider population in Spain between the ages of 40 and 49.
Jokic picks up MVP award in overwhelming win
Tuesday was a pretty good day for Nikola Jokic who became only the sixth foreigner to win the NBA's MVP player award. The Serbian center was announced as the clear winner claiming 91 of the 101 first-place votes behind Joel Embiid and Stephen Curry.
"it's the effort of everybody who is part of the Denver Nuggets organization," said Jokic after receiving the award. The NBA star is back on the court on Wednesday in the second game of the playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, where the Nuggets are currently one-match down.