ZURICH, SWI (Friday, September 26, 2014)- The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) announced today that the FIFA Executive Committee has voted in favor and officially added the Centennial Edition of the Copa America tournament to the FIFA Events Calendar. The event is set to be played in the United States from June 3 to June 26 of 2016.
“With the addition of the tournament to the FIFA Calendar, the historic Copa America Centenario in 2016 is now set to be the most important full national team tournament hosted in the Americas since this year’s FIFA World Cup,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “We want to thank Fifa, all Confederations and all others involved in the process for their unconditional support in this process making sure that this once in a lifetime celebration was treated with the respect that the players, football fans around the world and participating countries deserve.”
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The addition of the Copa America Centenario tournament to the 2016 FIFA Events Calendar means that all countries participating in the event will be able to officially call up players from any club teams around the globe, allowing them to field their best teams possible for this historic tournament.
In a sixteen team field, CONMEBOL’s ten Member Associations – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – will be joined by six competitors from CONCACAF, including host and 2013 Gold Cup champion United States, six-time Gold Cup champion Mexico and 2014 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Champion, Costa Rica.
Additional CONCACAF representatives will include the 2014 champion of the Caribbean Football Union that will come out of the CFU Caribbean Cup set to be played this November in Jamaica.
The final two CONCACAF teams to earn a ticket to the Centennial Cup America 2016 will be determined by performances during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The four national teams advancing furthest in the 2015 edition that are not the ones already qualified to the Centennial Cup America via the above mentioned criteria (Mexico, the United States, the 2014 UNCAF winner Costa Rica and the CFU winner), will dispute playoff matches to determine the final two CONCACAF qualifiers to the Centennial America Cup.
The teams advancing to the playoff round will be seeded one through four according to their performance in the 2015 Gold Cup. The highest seed will then face the fourth seed, and the second seed will face the third seed in a playoff doubleheader, with the winners of each of those two matches advancing to the Centennial Cup America.
If the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is a team that is not already qualified to the 2016 Copa America Centenario, it will be awarded an automatic berth in the centennial competition and the final CONCACAF spot will be determined in a single playoff match as explained above between the next two best performing teams that have not already qualified to the 2016 tournament.
The previous edition of Copa America was celebrated in Argentina in 2011, with Uruguay claiming a record fifteenth title. The next edition of the tournament is set to be played in Chile in 2015.
WeMatch, a partnership between three international leaders in the football industry, Full Play, Torneos and Traffic Sports, holds the commercial rights for this tournament.
Copa America Centenario Participating Teams:
1. U.S.A. (Host)
2. Mexico (Seeded)
3. Costa Rica (2014 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana Champion)
4. TBD (2014 CFU Caribbean Cup Champion)
5. TBD (Winner of 2015 Gold Cup –if not one of the already qualified teams, or 2015 Gold Cup Playoff 1 winner)
6. TBD (2015 Gold Cup Playoff winner)