The CONMEBOL COPA AMERICA is an international tournament organised by CONMEBOL — the South American football governing body.
The Copa America began in 1916, making it one of the oldest football competitions in the world (105 years old).
It marked its 100 years anniversary in 2016 with the Copa America Centenario, which was hosted by the USA — the first-ever non-South American hosts.
Starting from 2007 the tournament takes place every four years. In 2019, CONMEBOL decided to move the tournament to odd number years, so that it will take place in the same year as the Euros. Hence, the next edition was scheduled to take place in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic forced the tournament to be postponed from 2020 to 2021, similar to the Euros.
The tournament has had multiple hosts three times (1975, 1979, and 1983).
The 2021 Copa America, which will be the 47th edition, was supposed to be the first in history that will be hosted by two countries (Argentina and Columbia). But Columbia were stripped of their hosting rights in May 2021, due to the unrest in the country as a result of the massive protests going on against the country’s President. While Argentina also declined to host the tournament after top government figures in the country raised doubts that the tournament could go ahead due to the current COVID-19 health crisis.
As it stands, Brazil will singlehandedly host the 2021 Copa America, which will take place from the 13th of June to the 10th of July 2021.
Eight venues from Argentina and four from Columbia were initially expected to host the matches, but that has changed with the removal of the latter country as hosts. The new arrangement for the venues are yet to be announced.
There are just ten countries in South America, so countries from other continents (North America or Asia) are usually invited to extend the number of teams to 16 or 12 as the case may be. This year, Australia and Qatar were invited, but both have pulled out due to their engagements in the Asian zone 2022 World Cup qualifiers. So, only the 10 South American countries will compete in this year’s Copa America. They are:
- PARAGUAY and
The ten teams have been divided into two groups containing five teams each. The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.
Brazil are the current defending champions of the Copa America.
Uruguay are the most successful team in the tournament’s history with (15) titles, followed by Argentina (14) and Brazil (9). Lionel Messi will be hoping to clinch his first trophy with the Argentine national team this year, while Neymar will want to prove he is one of the Brazilian greats by leading the Samba boys to a tournament victory.