Confirmed: 2021 Copa América To Go Ahead With 10 Teams
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This year's Copa América will go ahead with only 10 teams, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Monday, as it abandoned plans to replace Australia and Qatar, the two sides who withdrew due to fixture congestion.
"As is traditional, CONMEBOL invited teams from other confederations," the body said in a statement. "However, the suspended matches and delays brought about by the pandemic that affected world football impeded other nations from participating."
CONMEBOL had considered inviting other countries to replace Australia and Qatar but appear to have been defeated by the large number of games that now must be squeezed into an already packed schedule. This year's Copa América was held over from 2020 and is the first in its 105-year history to be held in two nations, Colombia and Argentina.
Entérate todo sobre el nuevo calendario oficial de la CONMEBOL Copa América 2021
¡Cada vez falta menos para que hagamos vibrar el continente! ⚽https://t.co/yWRjaXpUsn#CopaAmérica #VibraElContinente pic.twitter.com/vtGw027JK6— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) March 15, 2021
Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina play in a southern group, with the opening match between Argentina and Chile kicking off in Buenos Aires on June 13. Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Colombia play in the northern section, with the final taking place in the Colombian city of Barranquilla on July 10.
The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.
(Reporting by Andrew Downie Editing by Christian Radnedge)