NEW YORK – More negotiations are needed before Copa America, the championship tournament for South America, is staged in the United States in 2016.
An announcement that the tournament would take place in the United States was made Wednesday by CONMEBOL, the confederation overseeing South American soccer. But it was premature, according to CONCACAF, which runs the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
"While the idea of a centennial tournament with some of the best teams in the hemisphere is certainly intriguing, it is not something we have agreed to host or participate in at this time," U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said Thursday. "As CONCACAF stated, there are still a number of discussions that need to take place with CONMEBOL. U.S. Soccer would also need to be involved in discussions about hosting the tournament. We're looking forward to those discussions in the near future."
In July, CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb met with executive committee members of CONMEBOL in Sao Paulo to discuss collaborative opportunities between the two confederations. Among the items explored was the staging of a special Copa America in 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL that would involve CONCACAF's partnership and participation.
"Even though playing the 2016 Copa America in the CONCACAF region with our teams and those from CONMEBOL would be a wonderful experience for all fans, we are still in the midst of talks and negotiations between all parties involved in this decision," said Enrique Sanz, CONCACAF's general secretary. "This is an idea we are hoping to materialize, but we are still evaluating and discussing before it becomes official, but the intention is definitely there."