Thursday, May 23, 2019

SPORTS | 14-03-2019 13:00

Argentina, Colombia sign up as co-hosts of Copa América 2020

It's the first time that the tournament will be split between two countries in the modern Copa América era – and it seems no-one has noticed the countries are quite far away from one another...

Argentina and Colombia are poised to co-host the 2020 Copa América after South America's ruling body CONMEBOL once again ruled out a US proposal to host the tournament.

CONMEBOL's ruling council met in Miami on Wednesday to discuss the issue ahead of a FIFA Council meeting on Friday.

"Argentina and Colombia are shaping up as joint venues of the Copa América-2020," CONMEBOL said, after rejecting the US offer to host the tournament. 

The federation said the US offer would effectively have ignored the "more than 103 years of sports tradition of Copa América."

CONMEBOL, which comprises the 10 member federations in South America, said in a statement it had accepted "the nomination of Argentina and Colombia as joint venues for the 2020 edition of the Copa America."

Confirmation of Argentina and Colombia staging the tournament is subject to them complying with the CONMEBOL technical requirements after providing more details of the organisation. The tournament will bring "South American football closer to its fans," CONMEBOL said.

The decision marks the first time in the modern Copa América era that the tournament will be split between two countries.

A tournament co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia also presents logistical hurdles, with the two countries separated by some 7,000 kilometres.

CONMEBOL noted that the co-hosting was "subject to the presentation of a detailed proposal by both member associations on the structure and organisation of the tournament."

The 2020 Copa América will take place one year after this year's tournament, which is to be staged in Brazil between June 14 and July 7.

Interest from China, Russia and Qatar also was considered by the CONMEBOL Council in Miami, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the content of a private meeting.

Last month, the United States Soccer Federation had issued a proposal to CONMEBOL offering to stage the 2020 Copa América in the United States in an expanded 16-team competition that would also include six teams from the CONCACAF region.

The event was modelled along the lines of the successful 2016 Copa América Centenario, held across the US. 

The proposed event guaranteed US$200 million to be shared amongst competing teams with US$11 million to be handed to the winner.

-TIMES/AP/AFP

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