Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Centennial Copa America

By Diego Alejandro Vargas Otalora (undergraduate Social Communication student, level 4 English)

In 2016, teams from all over the Americas will meet in the USA to compete in the oldest tournament in the world, the Copa America. This will be a special edition of this tournament to celebrate the centenary of the competition.

The Copa America was created in 1916 in Argentina with only four teams: Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile – the founders of the Conmebol. Since then, the other countries from South American have been added. In 2015, the last cup included twelve teams – ten from South America (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela), and two from the Concacaf (Jamaica and Mexico). Chile is the reigning champion.

In the centennial Copa America, however, the tournament will include 16 teams – ten from Conmebol and six from Concacaf – divided into four groups, each with four teams. Only the top two from each group will progress to the quarter-finals. The matches will be played in different stadiums around the USA, that is to say Stanford, Washington, Houston, Orlando, Miami and East Rutherford.

The hardest tournament selections in the world can become the best staging for Colombia, which is one of the favourites for the title because of its performance in the 2014 World Cup. Other favourites are Chile, the reigning champion, Argentina, the runner-up in the 2014 World Cup, Brazil because of its history, and Uruguay because of its “garra charrĂșa”. The idea is that the cup stays in South America; in other words, the winner has to be South American because the cup is from South America and a North American team has never won it, although in football, anything can happen!

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