By DAN KARELL
A proposed United States hosted Copa America is closer to becoming a reality.
To mark CONMEBOL’s 100th anniversary in 2016, the South American soccer confederation is working with CONCACAF to bring the internationally known tournament to the U.S. In an interview with NASN, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb gave an update on the status of the proposed tournament, which is rumored to include the ten CONMEBOL nations and six more sides from CONCACAF.
“We are in discussion with CONMEBOL for a number of weeks now, and we are looking at CONMEBOL’s centennial anniversary, Copa America, which will be in 2016,” Webb said. “We’re engaging with them to see what’s best fit for their confederation and for our confederation.”
Though on paper it looks like a terrific idea, Webb admitted that there are still issues being worked through. One of the biggest issues is that the tournament isn’t currently on the FIFA calender, meaning that many of the stars eligible to play in the tournament may not be released by their clubs.
In addition, the tournament would come one summer after the regularly scheduled Copa America in 2015, and just two years after the World Cup in Brazil.
“It would be great if it was just a matter of naming ten teams or 6 teams and playing a game, but there’s various commercial agreements and various things to work through,” Webb said. “So we’re trying to work through that, but from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, this is something that we both want to see happen.”
Despite the issues, Webb sounded confident that the two confederations were close to an agreement. If the tournament does occur, give the USMNT the opportunity to play the South American nations in competitive matches at home.
“We’re just trying to wait until we get through various agreements with various people working on (the proposed tournament) on behalf of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL,” Webb said. We’re hoping that perhaps in a few weeks we’ll be able to announce a formalized agreement with both CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.”
What do you think of this news? Do you see this becoming a reality? Do you believe this is a good idea for CONCACAF and CONMEBOL?
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