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Copa America

The Copa América is the main national football competition of the CONMEBOL nations. It is normally held every two years, but the intervals may change.

The participating nations are Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Two invited teams from other confederations complete the 12-team field. As CONMEBOL only has the 10 members mentioned above, there is no qualification tournament. Neither is there a qualification tournament for invitees; they are invited on their own merits, such as winning matches on World Cup finals or qualification stages in their confederations. Since 1993, only Mexico has warranted invitations to every tournament.


The Copa América is the oldest surviving international football competition in the world, as it was held for the first time between July 2 and July 17, 1916 as part of the commemorations of Argentina's independence centenary. The CONMEBOL was then founded during this event, on July 9 (Argentina's independence day). It is normally held every two years, but the intervals may change.

The tournament was previously known as Campeonato Sudamericano de Selecciones (South American Championship of National Teams) being South American Championship of Nations its official English language name. The competition received the name used nowadays on 1975. Between 1975 and 1983 it had no host nation, and was held in a home-away fashion. In 1984, the CONMEBOL adopted the policy of rotating the right to host the Copa América amongst the ten member confederations. The first rotation will be completed in 2007, when the competiton will take place in Venezuela.

Since 1993, two teams from other confederations (often preferably CONCACAF, as a lot of its members are geographically and culturally close to CONMEBOL's members) are also invited. So far, the invited teams have been Costa Rica (1997, 2001, 2004), Honduras (2001), Japan (1999), Mexico (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007), and the United States (1993, 1995, 2007). The USA has also been invited every year since 1997, but turned down the invitation due to scheduling conflicts with the USA's top professional league (MLS). However, on October 30, 2006, the US Soccer Federation accepted the invitation for participation in the 2007 tournament, ending a 12 year absence. For the Copa América 2001, Canada was an invitee, but on July 6, 2001 withdrew because of security concerns.

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