Soccer-Brazil players to reveal Copa stance next week: coach

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(Reuters) - Brazil coach Tite said he and the squad will not discuss their stance on the Copa America until after World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay amid reports that some players are reluctant to take part in the South American tournament.

Brazil was unexpectedly chosen to host the Copa on Monday after co-hosts Colombia were removed amid ongoing civil unrest and Argentina withdrew due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

It will be the second time in a row the tournament is held in Brazil, which has lost more than 465,000 lives to the novel coronavirus, more than any country except the United States.

Brazil registered 1,682 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and 83,391 new cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry.

The Brazil squad are currently in Porto Alegre preparing for 2022 World Cup qualifiers on June 4 and June 8, and a report on Radio Gaucha said their Europe-based players did not want to play in the Copa America.

Tite said the squad had a frank discussion about the Copa on Thursday and would make their position clear next week.

"We have a position but we are not going to reveal it yet," he said. "We have the obligation to play well and win the game against Ecuador. We understand that after these FIFA dates the situations are going to be clear.”

Tite said he and the players had met with Rogerio Caboclo, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, and put their views across.

Team captain Casemiro did not appear at a scheduled news conference, an absence Tite admitted was related to the earlier discussions.

Defending champions Brazil are due to open the Copa America against Venezuela in Brasilia on June 13.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie in London; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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