Copa America: Brazil boss Tite denies pressure to step down amid criticism

Brazil men's national team head coach Tite denied that he was under pressure to resign from his position following criticism over whether his squad would boycott the upcoming Copa America.

Brazil's star players have debated whether or not they should play in South America's contintental championship on home soil but won't make their position known until after Tuesday's World Cup qualifying game against Paraguay.

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The Copa America, awarded to defending champion Brazil after Argentina and Colombia were dropped as co-hosts, has become a contentious issue amid surging coronavirus cases in the region.

Supporters of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro have called for Tite to leave his post, with the manager previously saying that his players had discussed with the Copa issue with the head of the Brazilian football confederation [CBF].

When asked on Monday at news conference over whether he's been pressured to step down, Tite simply said "no" and said his team is focused on the Paraguay matchup.

"We reiterate our respect over the situation and for that reason, the coaching staff and players will provide their opinion," Tite said. "We have pride in what we do and we know the importance of the national team.

"I have much respect for my job and for the Brazilian national team and we are fighting to qualify for the World Cup, and the best way to demonstrate that is do the best job possible."

Rogerio Caboclo, who was suspended for 30 days as CBF's chairman following allegations of sexual misconduct, told ESPN Brasil that the players never mentioned boycotting the Copa, nor did he ask for Tite to step down.

"The players never mentioned a boycott of the Copa America, this never happened at any moment [speaking about the meeting with the players]. And I never wanted to replace Tite, the coaching staff. We'll all be together in the 2022 World Cup, and to win," Caboclo said.

On the allegations, Caboclo said: "I can not speak anything about this because everything will be handled with my defense. I am innocent. I am absolutely sure that I will prove it. And there is no doubt that I will return [to the CBF presidency]. My whole family is giving me support, my wife, my son, my parents, my ex-wife."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.