The Puyehue volcano, which lies on the border between Chile and Argentina, continued to spew ash over the Andes and Patagonia regions of South America on Tuesday. The eruption is now entering its 11th day and shows no sign of stopping.
Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona says the July 1 start of the Copa America could be pushed back due to cancelations of flights caused by the volcano.
Grondona tells the Argentine broadcaster Radio 10 that from no point of view are all the countries prepared to come to Buenos Aires in time.
The drifting plume of ash also briefly threatened the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo, Uruguay, between Brazil club Santos and Uruguay's Penarol. After a brief delay, a charter carrying Santos managed to land in Montevideo. The second leg is June 23 in Sao Paulo.
The main international airports in Argentina and Uruguay were closed on Tuesday and, across the Pacific, more Australian flights were canceled because of ash from Chile's volcano.
---Over in Australia---
Australia's ABC reports that at least one analyst believes the grounding of flights could be costing Qantas up to $20 million a day with a potential to send the airline into the red if the saga drags on.
Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth responded, We haven't put a cost on this. Obviously there is a cost to the business but you can't put a cost on safety.
With Qantas and low-fare company Tiger Airways continuing to keep planes grounded, the impact on this year's earnings could be big.
The latest from Qantas is that the carrier would still not be flying to Tasmania or New Zealand but expected to operate on all mainland routes, including Perth (where the ash cloud is said to be headed). Tiger cancelled two Perth flights (one in, one out) yesterday due to the ash cloud. Tiger hoped to be running all but one return-Hobart flight and Virgin was expected to operate a full schedule. Jetstar is still to decide.
The airline companies have differed on how to deal with the Chilean ash cloud. New Zealand's national carrier Air New Zealand never suspended service, instead choosing to divert flights and alter altitudes. Virgin also chose to fly under the ash cloud. Qantas rejected this idea.
This is about Qantas safety standards and procedures in place. We want to assure the safety of crew, the safety of our passengers and ultimately the safety of our airlines, said Olivia Wirth, a Qantas spokeswoman.
Qantas and Jetstar are the first to adopt International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for low, medium and high definitions of ash concentrations. According to Wirth, ''Qantas Group policy is not to fly through areas of ash where the density of that ash is unknown.''
View the photos from just after the eruption in Chile here.