International Soccer

Report: CONCACAF, Conmebol planning 18-team tournament in 2016


photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Conmebol's Copa America is the oldest international continental tournament in soccer, and 2016 will mark its 100th birthday.

That could also be the year that many American soccer fans have a dream come true.

According to Mexican outlet mediotiempo.com, CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit said during a recent stop in Mexico that an 18-team tournament consisting of teams from CONCACAF and Conmebol is being planned for 2016.

With no Gold Cup or Copa America scheduled for that year, officials are proposing the Copa America's centennial be celebrated with a tournament comprised of 10 Conmebol teams and eight from CONCACAF. There was no explanation on which eight teams would represent CONCACAF, but the United States and Mexico seem all but guaranteed to be included.

There also was no further comment made as to what the teams would play for. Both regions are scheduled to have their respective regular tournaments in 2015, and those are typically the ones with Confederations Cup berths on the line.

Hawit also said permanently inviting Brazil to future Gold Cups, starting with the one in 2013, is being contemplated.


What do you think of a potential CONCACAF-Conmebol tournament? Like the idea? Should Brazil be invited to all future Gold Cups?
Share your thoughts below.
  • JCC

    Jonathan De Guzman gave up his Canadian citizenship to gain Dutch citizenship, so he’s currently in the process of getting his Canadian citizenship back last I heard. I have no idea how long the process is for regaining Canadian citizenship.


  • Dalai Lama

    i feel you bro…2 invites…Japan & Ghana. However, the 6 & 6 aint gonna fly. Sure Conmebol is small, but they are a powerhouse region so it has to be 8 or 10, certainly needs to be more then Concacaf. We know our place. Just be glad we’re in the bigtown now. To sum up: we are small minnows extremely grateful to Conmebol, serious money will start to flow as latinos and all immigrants in the US come together w/Eurosnobs & generic americans who appreciate footie in one big orgy of footie watching at the pub/bar and giant public squares in the heart of various cities- time square, SF civic center, LA staples, etc., Uefa governing body will probably try to derail it…this is when you’ll the tourney will be a threat to them


  • BishopDesmondTutu

    …just dont invite a European team. Their federation will probably clam up anyway, as they would probably see a bigger copa amer as a threat. I think 8 conmebol, 6 concacaf and 2 invites (one african, one asian). I like ivory coast and australia as invites



    Can we now merge CONCACAF AND COMENBOL and leave the corrupt carribean nations to fend for themselves after years of stealing and cronyism?


  • Brett

    Keep the Copa Oro and the Copa America. For the new tourney, if they stick with 18 teams (I think 16 would be better) take the final 8 from each tournament and add in a 4-team ‘wildcard’ qualifying round to fill the last two spots and place 2 teams from each region against each other.

    So based on the last “copa” cycle the teams would be:

    United States
    Costa Rica
    El Salvador

    And the “wildcards” would be:

    Canada vs Bolivia
    Guadeloupe vs Ecuador

    That looks good to me, but heavily stacked in favor of the South American teams in terms of quality. I think the best in CONCACAF can play with the best in CONMEBOL but there are more quality sides in CONMEBOL.

    I do think going 16 teams would be better. Just take the best 8 from each and seed them into 4 groups of 4. Perhaps that is what they plan on doing anyway though and just eliminating 2 teams through a playoff round.


  • Brett

    …and obviously, we would scrap the “off-year” Gold Cup to make room for this. I never liked that idea anyway.


  • THomas

    I can’t imagine the inaugural event wouldn’t be in the U.S. It’s a safe option especially for the first go round. The last thing you want to be worrying about is stadiums being ready and security. Plus EVERY country will have support already living in the U.S. and access for those who aren’t will be easy with our infrastructure.

    And if it’s in the June Brazil will be focused on getting ready for the Olympics and have just hosted the World Cup two years prior and I guess the Copa America too if I’m not mistaken.


  • THomas

    Very cool idea. Very cool. This way it will look more legit and in the end most CONMEBOL teams will end up winning out their playoff.

    For those who say CONMEBOL won’t want some of their teams not participating? I imagine the money that a U.S. hosted event will bring in would convince them otherwise.

    16 teams in the final tournament proper would be exactly the same as the Euros and I’d be willing to bet that attendance would be higher than the Euros. Obviously TV revenue wouldn’t be the same, but better than what the Gold Cup and Copa America get on their own now.


  • BamaMan

    The Gold Cup and the Copa America should be merged permanently into a 16 team Pan-Am Cup or New World Cup tournament featuring the all South American teams and the 6 teams that make the “hexagonal” in CONCACAF. Highest finishing South American team and highest finishing CONCACAF team go to the FIFA Confederations Cup. Play it only once every four years so as not to dilute it. Play it the year immediately following the World Cup so that it does not conflict with the Euros and both confederations have plenty of time for their lengthy WC qualification processes. This is a good start although I have literally no idea how an 18 team tournament is going to work.


  • bryan

    well, in that case, i don’t mind it so much. i do like the idea of having stronger competition.


  • CesarChavez

    my good friends Gandhi, NelsonMandela and Dalailama have good points. it would be a big money maker. the reason why concacaf needs 8 is that if its only 6, then the caribbean countries would throw a fit as they would probably believe it impossible to make final 6. they have veto power. also, having it at 8 increases the odds that the big money market of canada will make it. yes, i know i misspelled caribbean. hey, i’m a farmworker/activitst who watches too much footie, and no i do not support el Tri


  • Dinho

    Groups of 5 is not a good idea. I think we need 16 teams. 10 from SA and 6 from NA/CA.

    4 groups of 4.

    Nice and simple.


  • Daniel Hall

    I belive the Gold Cup should be played every 4 years rotated between Canada, Mexico and USA.

    Also the Gold Cup should expand either 16 teams or 24 teams

    16 Team Format

    CAN, MEX and USA

    Top 5 teams in Copa Centoamerica

    Top 8 teams in Caribbean Cup

    24 Team Format

    CAN, MEX and USA

    Top 5 teams in Copa Centoamerica

    Top 16 teams in Caribbean Cup

    For the Copa America the format should be either 16 teams or 20 teams

    16 Team Format

    10 CONMEBOL teams

    6 CONCACAF teams (based either on Gold Cup rankings, FIFA World Rankings, Top 2 FIFA Teams in NAFU, UNCAF, CFU)

    20 Team Format

    10 CONMEBOL teams

    10 CONCACAF teams (The Top 3 Teams in the FIFA World Rankings from NAFU, UNCAF, CFU and a two legged play-off between the 4th placed teams from UNCAF and CFU


  • Daniel Hall

    Also the Gold Cup should bring back the Bronze Final, the following matches has not been played in the Gold Cup are:

    2000 Peru vs. Trinidad and Tobago

    2005 Honduras vs. Colombia

    2007 Canada vs. Guadeloupe

    2009 Honduras vs. Costa Rica

    2011 Panama vs. Honduras

    Let up hope this will come back.


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