The United States has been confirmed as the host of the Copa America Centenario, a national team competition that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL, the governing body for soccer in South America.
The competition will be staged jointly with CONCACAF, which governs soccer in North and Central America. It will be the largest soccer tournament to be played in the United States since the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
The special tournament, which will follow a regular Copa America in 2015, was confirmed in Miami on Thursday, with a press conference featuring CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, and CONMEBOL President, Eugenio Figueredo.
Six CONCACAF teams will compete alongside the regular South American participants. The USA and Mexico have been granted automatic slots in the tournament, alongside four teams who will have to qualify. Two will qualify through the 2015 Gold Cup, with the winners of the 2014 Central American Cup and the 2014 Caribbean Cup also taking part.
The competition will take place from June 3 to 26.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Miami Herald newspaper reported that likely venues include the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which staged the 1994 FIFA World Cup final between Brazil and Italy; RFK Stadium in Washington; Houston’s Reliant Stadium; and New York’s MetLife Stadium, which staged this year’s Super Bowl. However, the full bidding process will get underway shortly to determine the host cities.
In an indication that there are still many details to be finalised, Figueredo admitted on Thursday that FIFA had not yet agreed to officially schedule the tournament.
It will not be the first time that non-CONCACAF teams have played in a Copa America. The USA have competed three times, while Mexico has participated on eight occasions. Generally, two guest teams are invited – Costa Rica and Mexico played in the 2011 edition in Argentina, a tournament ultimately won by Uruguay.
Chile will stage the 2015 competition, while Brazil and Ecuador have already been confirmed as hosts for 2019 and 2023 respectively.