Come Friday the world will tune into UEFA Euro 2016 where the top teams of Europe will compete for the biggest title in Europe. The money spinning European football leagues along with their dominant performances in the FIFA world cup has made Europe the center house of football, but there is another competition which has just kicked off last week which is not receiving enough eyeballs which is strange for it is an even bigger competition involving not one but two continents- more teams more population.
It’s the Copa America which kicked off on 3rd June is celebrating its 100 years of foundation being played for the first time US all this and more but still it has failed to get the media houses or football fans buzzing, even the social media seems to have let it pass.
It’s very strange when one sees daily reports of preparation for Euros, team statistics, analysis and what not pages after pages columns after columns filled but it simply seems to be missing for the Copa America. It’s not like the tournament lacks star power or quality matches. For a neutral fan for someone watching it whose country is not part of any the Copa America is a delight.
The South American game full of flair and skills is simply a spectator’s delight than watching close at time boring European counters. The Copa America boosts of the best players in the world, players who have made the European Leagues what they are. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, James Rodriguez, Sergio Aguero, Angle Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Bravo and more all feature in this year’s competition yet people who simply adore them when it comes to club competition simply ignore them when it comes to nationals.
The possible reasons one can think of why the tournament is not making headlines is the stringent promotion budget of the competition and countries mostly poor or developing lack the might of European countries where from merchandise to television rights everything is sold for insane prices.
Thus it is in favor of telecasters to have a carpet bombing coverage of Euros to further strengthen their markets all over and get more out of investments. The only substantially rich country is US which is playing the host but the football culture out there is still not developed and it comes way behind other sports so promoters in US don’t have much interest unlike the Euro host France
Another reason could be that the tide of football have shifted in favor of Europe with the past three world cup winners all coming from Europe and in fact with the exception of Brazil which stopped the chain in the last 25 years the winners have been all from Europe. Thus apart from the money power their ability to win the top prize has helped Euros score over the Copa America in terms of becoming the 2nd biggest competition after the World Cup.
The timing of the matches simply doesn’t suit television viewing compared to that of Euros. Given that the time zone is in one extreme for viewers in Asia the matches are telecast in the wee hours of the morning, unlike the Euros which are telecast in the evening and this surely works in favor of Euros.
Also the fans are habitual to watching late night European matches all hail the Champions League thus they don’t have to alter their regimes and this dies work in favor given that the tournaments are so same for anyone to develop a new habit.
It’s a shame that Copa America is not able to compete with Euros despite being such a good tournament. One only hopes that the Euro centric approaches in this part is also shattered in the subsequent years and there is a more level field, in all this it will be the football will be the winner.