MIAMI BEACH, Florida - CONCACAF authorized Mexican teams to continue playing in South America's Copa Libertadores, approving the arrangement Wednesday after a policy review regarding participation in CONMEBOL events.
The decision affirms that Mexican clubs will qualify for the Libertadores - South American's premier club tournament - based on existing principles.
In addition, CONCACAF announced that the Mexico's Olympic team supplemented by five "wild-card" players will compete in the 2011 Copa America, continuing El Tri's participation in the South American nations' championship for an eighth straight time.
"We are very pleased to have developed a system which recognizes and maintains the priority of CONCACAF competitions while ensuring Mexico's continued participation in the premier South American events," CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer said.
CONCACAF decided in June last year not to renew its four-year deal with the South American confederation for its teams to play in the second-tier Copa Sudamericana after the agreement expired.
Mexico has played in every Copa America since it first participated in 1993, finishing runner-up that year and again in 2001. It also finished third in 1997, 1999 and 2007.
Other than the five unrestricted players, the team to play in the Copa America in Argentina will be limited to those eligible for the 2012 London Olympics, born in 1989 or younger. It will be the same group eligible for the Pan American Games, set for October, 13-20, 2011, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
"We are honored to continue our long-standing participation in the Copa America," Mexican federation president Justino Compean said. "We also welcome the opportunity to develop the team that will represent us at the 2011 Pan American Games and 2012 Olympics by playing against South America's best teams."