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SPORTS | 09-04-2019 13:56

Argentina and Colombia will co-host 2020 Copa América tournament

The new format means the tournament will comprise of 38 matches, 12 more than the current one, with a north and south group hosted in each country.

Argentina and Colombia will share hosting duties for the 2020 Copa América, which will be played with a bizarre new format.

South American football's governing body CONMEBOL confirmed the dual hosts on Tuesday during a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, where the final of this year's tournament will take place on July 7. The new format means the tournament will comprise of 38 matches, 12 more than the current one.

CONMEBOL said 10 South American teams plus two guests will play in the competition in 2020, the same number as this year's edition. However, they will be divided into two groups of six, based on geography, with a north and south region.

Colombia will be paired with Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and one of the guests.

Argentina will welcome Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and the other guest.

The top four teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals, with only two teams eliminated from each group at the initial stage. It will therefore be more likely that teams will progress rather than be knocked-out.

The location of the final "is not yet defined," CONMEBOL said, meaning Argentina and Colombia will have to battle it out for the right to host the showdown.

"The new format includes a total of 38 matches and gives fans the option to enjoy at least five matches of their national team in a nearby and bordering country, which reinforces the spectacle," said the institution.

"The core objective of this change was to make it easier for fans to get geographically closer to the matches," explained CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez.

The top four teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals, but the host cities for the knock-out games have not yet been announced.

This year's Copa América in Brazil, which kicks off on June 14, will be the last to be played in an even year. After 2020, the South American tournament will once again be held every four years.

The two invited teams for the 2019 edition are Japan and 2022 World Cup host Qatar.

- TIMES/AFP/AP

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