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Events

Copa América heading back to US with CONMEBOL-CONCACAF pact

Featured image credit: SachinDaluja/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) will take its Copa América back to the United States next year under a strategic collaboration agreement announced with the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today (Friday).

The 2024 Copa América will be played in the US, in the summer of next year, and will include 10 CONMEBOL teams and the six best CONCACAF teams, as guests. The tournament will be co-organised by both confederations.

The Copa América Centenario, marking the centenary of the tournament, was held for the first time outside South America in the United States in 2016. Since then the past two tournaments (2019 and 2021) were both hosted by Brazil, although the latter was originally due to be co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia. The event was moved to Brazil due to COVID-19 complications in Argentina and civil unrest in Colombia.

The return of the Copa América will also act as another major football tournament in the US ahead of the country’s co-hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup with Mexico and Canada. FIFA in June decided on the 16 cities that will host the 2026 World Cup, with president Gianni Infantino outlining the goal that by the time of the tournament football will be “the No. 1 sport” across North America.

Today’s agreement is designed to strengthen and develop football in both regions. It includes men’s and women’s national team competitions and a new men’s club tournament.

For women’s national teams, CONCACAF has invited the top four CONMEBOL national teams to participate in its 2024 W Gold Cup. The inaugural edition of this 12-team tournament, which is a key part of CONCACAF’s new women’s national team ecosystem, will be played in the United States.

CONMEBOL and CONCACAF will also organise a centralised ‘final four’ style club competition featuring the best clubs from the respective confederations. The four participating teams (two from each confederation) will qualify through existing CONMEBOL and CONCACAF club competitions and the two confederations are working towards the first edition of this tournament being played in 2024.

Alejandro Domínguez, president of CONMEBOL, said: “CONMEBOL and CONCACAF are united by historical and affective ties. But above all, we are united by the passion, characteristic of all the Americas, for football and sports.

“We are determined to renew and expand our joint initiatives and projects. We want this passion to translate into more and better competitions and for football and its values to grow and strengthen throughout the hemisphere. Without a doubt, both confederations believe in big, and we will work with this orientation.”

Victor Montagliani, president of CONCACAF, added: “This is a partnership to support the ongoing growth of men’s and women’s football in CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, and will truly be of mutual benefit to both confederations.

“Working hand in hand with CONMEBOL, we will deliver elite competitions that will provide more opportunities for our federations, and that we know passionate fans want to see. We look forward to working together to ensure that football in both regions continues to thrive.”

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