On Friday (January 27) it was announced that the U.S. will get the honor of hosting what is set to be an unprecedented edition of the tournament. For the first time, teams from both North and South America are getting to compete against each other.
The Copa América, the main regional national teams tournament for South America, determines the continental champion of South America. And previously, Ecuador was set to host the 2024 version of the tournament but decided against doing so due to public security concerns.
This ultimately led CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) to look for new alternatives. That’s when a deal with the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football) was set for a tournament that will include some undetermined CONCACAF Nations.
Six CONCACAF teams will join the 10 CONMEBOL countries, which features World Champion Argentina and Brazil in the next edition of the Copa América, set to be played during summer in the Northern Hemisphere, CONMEBOL said in a statement.
The CONCACAF includes 41 national teams and spans from Canada in the north to Suriname in the south. The CONMEBOL includes all 10 South American countries apart from Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
CONCACAF teams are participating in the South American regional tournament by invitation, so all 10 CONMEBOL teams will face the top six CONCACAF nations. Those spots will be chosen according to performance in the next CONCACAF Nations League.
For the U.S., the Copa América serves as the perfect warmup for the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Recent World Cup champions Argentina are also the Copa América defending champions, having won the title in 2021 against Brazil.
Here’s hoping Lionel Messi plays the 2024 Copa América, especially after fears that he would retire after the last World Cup.