By Samindra Kunti
March 14 – Argentina and Colombia will co-host the 2020 Copa America after the South American Football Confederation Conmebol shot down a proposal from the United States for a pan-American tournament. It’s the first time in its history that the Copa America will be co-hosted.
After a six-hour meeting in Miami Conmebol announced that Argentina and Colombia’s joint bid was accepted as a way of “bringing South American football to the fans”. The tournament still remains subject to the prospective hosts complying with the technical requirements for staging the continent’s flagship competition.
Colombia last hosted the Copa America in 2001, Argentina in 2011. Conmebol said that it “rejected expressions of interest and proposals received by the United States, Australia, and commercial agencies Dentsu and IMG.”
Last month US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro had made the South Americans a $200 million guarantee for a pan-american tournament in 2020, but in a letter Conmebol president Alexandro Dominguez rejected the proposal, citing the primacy of the Copa America.
Cordeiro said that it didn’t have to be an edition of the Copa America but could be a friendly tournament. It is a substantial amount of revenue that Conmebol is turning down and which will almost certainly find impossible to match playing on their own continent in 2020.
During the last 12 months officials from Conmebol and Concacaf had been in discussions about the creation of a new quadrennial tournament encompassing the entire Americas, but those talks repeatedly stalled over commercial issues. The U.S. Soccer offer was an attempt to fill the gap with a new proposal, a sound financial incentive and the security of knowing all the venues were capable of hosting.
Australia proposed to bring next’s year tournament to their other side of the world, but that was rejected by Conmebol as well. China, Russia and Qatar expressed an interest in hosting the 2020 Copa America, but never formalised their intentions, according to various media reports.
Conmebol is moving the tournament’s scheduling in line with the European championships and staging the Copa America every four years. The 2020 tournament would be the fourth Copa America in six years. Conmebol said it would remain open to host bidders from outside of South America.
The format, number of participants and number of matches of next’s year tournament remain to be determined. Each host nation would stage one semi-final and the final would be played in Argentina. This summer Brazil host the Copa America with the ten South American teams and both Qatar and Japan as invitees. The tournament kicks off on June 14 and concludes on July 7.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1553169260labto1553169260ofdlr1553169260owedi1553169260sni@o1553169260fni1553169260