By Paul Nicholson
January 27 – Conmebol’s flagship Copa America will be played in the US in 2024 for the second time with all 10 of the South American nations and the six best Concacaf teams competing.
The tournament will be co-organised by both confederations and is part of a pact between the two regions that will also see the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup host four Conmebol guests in addition to the eight Concacaf nations.
The two confederations have also committed to the creation of a new club competition that will include the best men’s teams from both regions.
The Copa America 2024 will provide important preparation in the US for the leading teams from both confederations in advance of the 2026 World Cup. In 2016 the centennial edition of the Copa America was played in the US. Chile beat Argentina on penalties in the final.
Copa America 2024 fills a big gap in the calendar for Concacaf’s top nations who in 2024 would have been short of top level international competition. The Concacaf nations now have a two-year schedule that includes the conclusion of the 2022/23 Concacaf Nations League, the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup and the 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League.
The six Concacaf teams that will join the 10 Conmebol nations in the Copa America in 2024 will qualify via the 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League.
Victor Montagliani, president of Concacaf, said: “This is a partnership to support the ongoing growth of men’s and women’s football in Concacaf and CONMEBOL, and will truly be of mutual benefit to both Confederations. Working hand in hand with CONMEBOL, we will deliver elite competitions that will provide more opportunities for our federations, and that we know passionate fans want to see. We look forward to working together to ensure that football in both regions continues to thrive.”
The 12-team 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup will also be played in the US and is a key part of Concacaf’s new women’s national team ecosystem, said the confederation.
The two Concacaf teams qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics (US and Jamaica or Canada) will qualify directly for the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The remaining six Concacaf teams will be determined through the 2023 Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup.
The four guest Conmebol teams have been determined based by the results of the 2022 Women’s Copa America: Brazil (champion) Colombia (runner-up), Argentina (third place) and Paraguay (fourth place).
Clubs get in on the act
The new joint club tournament will see a centralized ‘final four’ format with teams (two from each confederation) qualifying through existing Conmebol and Concacaf club competitions. The plan is to host the first edition of this tournament in 2024, though no dates or venue have been released.
Alejandro Domínguez, president of CONMEBOL, said: “CONMEBOL and Concacaf are united by historical and affective ties. But above all, we are united by the passion, characteristic of all the Americas, for football and sports. We are determined to renew and expand our joint initiatives and projects. We want this passion to translate into more and better competitions and for football and its values to grow and strengthen throughout the hemisphere. Without a doubt, both confederations believe in big, and we will work with this orientation.”
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