MIAMI -- The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) revealed in a joint press conference today in Miami that the Centennial Edition of the Copa America will be played in the United States in 2016.
The Centennial Cup America will mark the first time the historic South American championship has been played outside of that region, and represents the most important sporting event to come to North American shores in decades – rivalling the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in grandeur and relevance to the world of sport.
“I congratulate CONMEBOL for inspiring players and fans throughout a century of fantastic football, and thank them for extending the legacy of this hugely successful event to CONCACAF territory,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “The American continent may have been discovered in 1492, but I can’t imagine a better way to unite this continent than with football and an exceptional celebration of talent in 2016.”
“We are proud to play a leading role in the celebration of the centennial of a tournament born to unite all America. Year after year the Cup has gained prestige, which has allowed the opening of doors to the football of an entire continent. Now, CONCACAF and the United States will play host to the world’s oldest national team competition,” said Eugenio Figueredo, CONMEBOL President.
The Centennial Cup America will be held in cities across the United States in the summer of 2016, kicking off on June 3 and culminating with the Final on Sunday, June 26.
In the 16-team field, CONMEBOL’s ten Member Associations – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – will be joined by six competitors from CONCACAF, including host and 2013 Gold Cup champion United States, and six-time Gold Cup champion Mexico.
Additional CONCACAF representatives will include the 2014 champion of the Caribbean Football Union -- victor in November’s Caribbean Cup -- and the champion of UNCAF, winner of the Central American Cup scheduled to be staged in the fall of 2014.
The final two CONCACAF teams to earn a ticket to the Centennial Cup America 2016 will be determined by a four-team playoff. The four national teams advancing furthest in the 2015 edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup that are not the ones already qualified to the Centennial Cup America via the above mentioned criteria (Mexico, the United States, CFU winner and UNCAF winner), will dispute playoff matches to determine the final two CONCACAF qualifiers to the Centennial America Cup.
The teams advancing to the playoff round will be seeded one through four according to their performance in the 2015 Gold Cup. The highest seed will then face the fourth seed, and the second seed will face the third seed in a playoff doubleheader, with the winners of each of those two matches advancing to the Centennial Cup America.
The Centennial Cup America falls between the 2015 and 2017 editions of the biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup, which decides the regional champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The previous edition of Copa America was celebrated in Argentina in 2011, with Uruguay claiming a record fifteenth title. The next edition of the tournament is set to be played in Chile in 2015.
wematch, a recently announced partnership between three international leaders in the soccer industry, Full Play, Torneos and Traffic Sports, holds the commercial rights for this tournament.