Are Colombia and Argentina prepared to host the Copa América?

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The two South American countries will most likely host the first binational Copa America, which is committed to getting Latin American soccer closer to its fans

Are Colombia and Argentina prepared to host the Copa América?

The Conmebol recently announced to accept the joint proposal of Argentina and Colombia to be headquarters of Copa America 2020, so many theories arose in this regard; some in favor, others against. Therefore, they rejected the proposal of the United States and even that of Australia to host the tournament, according to the newspaper Marca Claro. The Conmebol is breaking with its conservative attitudes that characterized it for years, because before it was unthinkable to take its competitions out of South American soil. However, the Copa America Centenario, the last final of the Copa Libertadores taken to Europe and now the Copa América binacional are proof of its opening.

Leer en español: ¿Están preparadas Colombia y Argentina para ser sedes de la Copa América?

Why a binational Copa America?

It is important to highlight the fact that this Copa America would be the first in two countries simultaneously, that is, binational headquarters. Even so, it is also worth clarifying that, between 1975 and 1983, the cup was carried out in a format called 'without a fixed location'. In that case, they were made in a format very similar to the current eliminatory, with round-trip duels in the stadiums of each country, as well as a system of groups, according to Infobae. Of course, the system 'without fixed headquarters' and a binational headquarters are different, because in the second case both countries, Argentina and Colombia, will be in charge of the organization and will make their stadiums available for the tournament.


The world tendency is to divide the great events between two or more organizers, which reduces the costs derived from the expense of logistics that not only the private sector initiative assumes, since the governments must invest in infrastructure, security, communications, etc. The latter aspect is the most criticized by some sectors of society, especially in countries with economic problems. The increase of quotas in the tournaments makes it more difficult to organize them in a single venue.

For example, of the last 5 editions of the European Championship, 3 have been made in a binational format: Belgium-Netherlands 2000, Austria-Switzerland 2008 and Poland-Ukraine 2012, plus, for the 60th anniversary of the tournament, the 2020 edition will be held in 12 cities in 11 countries, according to information from UEFA itself. Also, the World Cup, which will increase the participating teams to 48, joins the trend of multiple venues, such as the 2026 World Cup and possibly the 2022 World Cup.

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Is the binational cup the best option?

The multiple venues in the world have been given in the context of increasing tournament participants. However, it is not the case of the Conmebol, as it seems that 12 will continue to be the participating teams. This can be inferred by the agency's announcement when announcing the binational headquarters, which was cited by Marca Claro: " In December 2018, CONMEBOL sent CONCACAF an invitation for six of its member associations to participate in the next three editions of the COPA AMERICA (2020, 2024 and 2028) which was rejected."

At least in the next three editions of the Copa América there will be no CONCACAF guests, but the South American body has not clarified whether it will invite another 6 teams to expand the cup to 16 or if it will keep the 2 traditional spaces for guest teams. So, the reason given by the CONMEBOL to organize the cup in two countries is simply to "bring soccer closer to the fans", as written in the same statement.

The challenges presented by the Argentina-Colombia Cup are mostly geographical, since the distance between both countries is 7,000 kilometers awayInfobae remarks. To have a point of comparison, between St. Petersburg and Sochi, the venues located at the north and south ends at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there are 2000 kilometers, according to data from the AS site. Therefore, the organization of the tournament will be a puzzle that will have to be ordered so that the fans can follow their selections with comfort.

Both countries have experience organizing tournaments: Argentina has organized the Copa America on 9 occasions, the last one in 2011 and a World Cup in 1978; Colombia organized the cup in 2001 and the U-20 World Cup in 2011, says El País. Now they will have to put both countries' experience on the table to run the tournament in the logistics part. These details will be revealed on April 9 in Rio de Janeiro, according to the newspaper El Tiempo, in a meeting prior to the Copa América of Brazil.


LatinAmerican Post | Luis Ángel Hernandez

Translated from "¿Están preparadas Colombia y Argentina para ser sedes de la Copa América?

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