April 10 – South American governing body Conmebol has confirmed Colombia and Argentina will stage the 2020 Copa America. For the first time the world’s oldest international tournament will be co-hosted, featuring a revamped group stage format.
This summer Brazil will host the Copa America and the first round will be played out in three groups of four with the group winners, the runners-up of each group and the two best third-placed teams progressing to the knock-out stages, but for 2020 the South American confederation has gone with two groups of six.
The South Zone group will comprise Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia while the North Zone group will include Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru. The group line-ups will be completed by a guest team. In Brazil, Japan and Asian champions Qatar will join the ten other South American teams in the competition.
“The central objective of this change is to provide more facilities to the fans and geographically bring the matches of the teams to the South American public,” said Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez in a statement. “The fans can enjoy at least five games of their team, which reinforces the show and the football party.”
The 2020 calendar will total 38 games, 12 games more than the current format. The rejig will generate more revenue in terms of ticketing and TV rights but the format may well be bloated with 30 group matches to send home just four teams.
After the 2020 edition, Conmebol will bring the tournament in line with the global football calendar staging the Copa America every four years, in the same year as the European championship. Previously, the Copa America was also staged in 2015 and in 2016 when the United States hosted the centenary edition of the finals.
Last month Conmebol rejected an invitation by US Soccer to play a 2020 tournament in the US, similar to the Centennial edition of the competition in 2016 edition, with additional participants from across the Americas. The US Soccer Federation had offered a cash incentive of $200 million, but that ultimately hasn’t swayed the South Americans.
It remains to be seen who the South Americans will invite to fill the two outstanding slots. The US and Mexico currently both have open calendars in 2020.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1582859200labto1582859200ofdlr1582859200owedi1582859200sni@o1582859200fni1582859200