Australia and Qatar on board for 2020 Copa America but final venue undecided
Australia and Qatar have accepted invitations to be the guest teams at the 2020 Copa America, South American soccer's national teams competition.
The event will be co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia, and involve the 10 members of Conmebol, the South American confederation, plus the two guests.
Australia’s Socceroos (pictured) have never previously featured at the Copa America, but Qatar are making their debut at this year’s tournament, which was set to kick off in Brazil today, with Japan as the other guest.
Australia and Qatar have been invited in 2020 as the last two winners of the AFC Asian Cup, in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
Qatar are also the hosts of the 2022 World Cup.
Chris Nikou, chairman of Football Federation Australia, welcomed the invitation to the 2020 Copa America, telling AFP: “We are ecstatic that our Socceroos will be participating in this prestigious competition for the first time in our history. We have been working hard over the last six months to improve our international relationships.”
Chief executive David Gallop added: “Our team will benefit from the experience of testing themselves out against some of the best players in the world. On the commercial side, exposing our national team on a global stage has significant upside as well.”
The Copa America is returning in 2020 as the competition switches to a new quadrennial schedule, in which it will be held in the same year as the European Championships.
It will also be the first time that the event is held in two different countries, with the 12 teams split into a northern section, in Colombia, and a southern section, in Argentina, with the top four from each qualifying for the knockout stages.
However, the venue for the final has yet to be decided.
Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez said: “The decision has had to be postponed because the agency tasked with proposing the competition's format hasn't yet managed to present its final project.”