ZURICH (Friday, September 26, 2014)- The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and FIFA announced today that the FIFA Executive Committee has voted in favor of and officially added the centennial edition of the Copa America – the Centennial Cup America -- to the FIFA Events Calendar. The competition is set to be played June 3-26, 2016, in the United States.
“With its addition to the FIFA Calendar, the historic Centennial Cup America in 2016 is now set to be the most important full national team tournament hosted in the Americas since this year’s FIFA World Cup,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “We want to thank FIFA, all Confederations and all others involved for their unconditional support in this process, making sure that this once in a lifetime celebration was treated with the respect that the players, football fans around the world and participating countries deserve.”
The addition of the Centennial Cup America tournament to the 2016 FIFA Events Calendar means that all countries participating in the event will be able to call upon the services of their players from any club around the globe, allowing them to field the best teams possible.
“Knowing that Copa America is the oldest national team tournament in the history of football, it is an honor for us to have the event officially included in the international calendar and be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this event and the foundation of CONMEBOL,” expressed CONMEBOL President Juan Angel Napout.
In a 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, six-time Gold Cup champion Mexico and 2014 Central American Cup winner Costa Rica.
The champion of the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Cup, the final round of which will be contested this November in Jamaica, will also earn a Centennial Cup America berth.
CONCACAF’s last pair of representatives will be determined through the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The four national teams advancing furthest in the biennial competition that had not previously confirmed their Centennial Cup America places will dispute playoff matches to decide 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 final Gold Cup placements. 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 qualifying for the Centennial Cup America.
If the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is a team not previously qualified to the 2016 Centennial Cup America, it will be awarded an automatic berth in the competition. The last CONCACAF spot would then be settled through a single-match playoff as explained above between the next two best performing teams that had not already qualified.
Argentina hosted the last Copa America in 2011, as Uruguay claimed a record fifteenth title. The next edition is set to be played in Chile in 2015.
wematch, a partnership between three international leaders in the soccer industry -- Full Play, Torneos and Traffic Sports -- holds the commercial rights for this tournament.
Copa America Centenario Participating Teams
- United States (host)
- Mexico (seeded)
- Costa Rica (2014 Central American Cup champion)
- TBD (2014 CFU Caribbean Cup champion)
- TBD (winner of 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup – if not one of the already qualified teams, or 2015 Gold Cup Playoff 1 winner)
- TBD (2015 Gold Cup Playoff winner)