Top Stories

FIFA adds USA-based 2016 Copa America to international fixture calendar



The 2016 Copa America Centenario is set to take place in the U.S. in what is likely the biggest tournament to hit American soil since the 1994 World Cup. After being recognized by many as a major event in both North and South American soccer, the tournament has now been recognized by the sport’s highest powers: FIFA.

FIFA announced on Monday that the FIFA Executive Committee approved the addition of the tournament, which is set to be played from June 3-26, to the FIFA Events Calendar. The addition means that participating nations will be able to call on players from around the world, ensuring national teams can field the best squads possible.

“With its addition to the FIFA Calendar, the historic Centennial Cup America in 2016 is now set to be the most important full national team tournament hosted in the Americas since this year’s FIFA World Cup,” CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb said in a press release. “We want to thank FIFA, all Confederations and all others involved for their unconditional support in this process, making sure that this once in a lifetime celebration was treated with the respect that the players, football fans around the world and participating countries deserve.”

“Knowing that Copa America is the oldest national team tournament in the history of football,” added CONMEBOL President Juan Angel Napout, “it is an honor for us to have the event officially included in the international calendar and be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this event and the foundation of CONMEBOL.”

The 16-team field is set to include CONMEBOL’s 10 members – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – as well as the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and three CONCACAF sides to be determined.

Before the 2016 tournament, the Copa America will take place in 2015 in Chile, where Uruguay will look to defend their crown and win a record 16th title.

What do you think of FIFA’s addition of the Copa America to their official calendar? Which teams are you looking forward to seeing? How will the U.S. fare in the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hope ESPN picks up the rights at a premium price over Fox, NBC, and Bein. With a huge TV rights pay day in the US and Mexico combined with what Conmebol already gets in TV rights from South America this will be such a huge pay day for both Conmebol and Concacaf that they will try to move heaven and earth to repeat it every four yrs maybe not in the US but by creating a real Copa America that includes both Concacaf and Conmebol it is just to much of a moneymaker for them not to continue.

    Hope this shatters all expectations and becomes permanent. The high level of competition our team will go up against will only see us improve as we try to reach the next level in international football. Playing scrubs in Concacaf Gold Cup every 2 yrs is not getting our players used to high pressure against high level competition.

    • I hope ESPN really sees what this could become. They already pay big money for the rights to Euros which won’t ever be in prime time. Imagine ESPN promoting this like they did Euro 2012 but for games in prime time slots. Brazil vs. USA or Mexico vs Argentina it would easily outdraw a 12pm EST kickoff for Germany vs. Italy or some other Euro matchup. This could become as big or bigger than Euro and for the broadcasters it would be great because no matter where it’s hosted in North or South America it would always have most of its games kickoff in primetime as opposed to the next WC in Russia where group games are going to be kicking off at around 5am and 8am EST.

  2. The needs to happen regularly between our two confederations. I believe it’s only a matter of time. Whatever game(s) are played at the Cowboys stadium, I will be there!

  3. Even better, because the participating countries are basically in similar time zones, a lot of these games can be televised in prime time so more people will be able to catch the games live both in the stadium and on TV. Also, if the games are played after dusk, the fields will be cooler which will allow for faster play in areas of the country that might be too hot for attractive soccer under the afternoon sun.

  4. I think this will go a long way toward getting us the WC in 2022. While dying stadium workers, and players and fans collapsing from heat stroke while gays and women are being oppressed the background doesn’t move FIFA a centimeter, the site of packed stadiums and huge TV ratings will get the greedy bastards to finally do the right thing.

  5. So there is about a 2 week overlap between the Copa and the Euros. Copa is June 3-26 and Euros are June 10-July 10. The Olympics begin Aug 5th. As soccer junkies this actually could rival, (dare I say best), this past year as the ultimate international soccer/football summer ever!

  6. i bet this has higher attendance, bother average and total, than the 2014 World Cup. what i wonder is if it’ll break the 1994 World Cup records.

    • It might have higher average attendance but probably not total attendance due to the fact that the tournament is only going to have 16 teams and, hence, fewer games than WC 2014 and WC 1994.

      • that’s a good point, especially for ’94.

        for ’14, i still wonder. there were 5 stadiums with less than 45,000 seats, 2 of which didn’t even hold 40,000. looking deeper, 2 stadiums didn’t hold over 60,000 which at least held 50,000 while only 4 stadiums actually held more than 60,000.

        depending on the venues selected for this, i wonder if they could somehow make up the difference of having fewer games by playing in stadiums no smaller than 65,000. i’d do the math right now but my boss might kill me given i’m also on the SBI Q&A and watching the Jones MLS Insider before switching back to the SBI Show.

      • i guess the math is pretty simple. with a total attendance in Brazil of 3,429,873 over 64 games, this tournament, likely with 32 games, would need to average 107,183/game just to match it. that might be just a bit too high.

  7. We should return the favor to Brazil and make them fly the most miles to play their three games. May I suggest Seattle, Miami, and then Phoenix with a quarterfinal in Boston, a semi in LA, and the final in NY. We also should have to fly the fewest miles of any team.

  8. The field is quality too. Arguably better than the Euros. 8 of the 16 teams to make the knockout rounds of the world cup are from Conmebol & Concacaf

  9. It would be cool to have this every 4 years just before the Euros every 4 years and have the winner of each face off in a community shield type game.


Leave a Comment