South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL confirmed on Monday that joint-hosts Colombia will be the venue of the 2020 Copa America final and revealed the opening match will be played in Argentina.
Colombian President Ivan Duque announced last week that the final would be held in Colombia, with the mayor of Barranquilla revealing it would take place in that Caribbean port city.
“The 2020 Copa America will begin its new edition on June 12, 2020 in Argentina, and crown its new continental champions in Colombia” on July 12, said CONMEBOL in a statement.
It will be the first time in the 103-year history of football’s oldest continental national teams competition that two countries host the tournament.
Teams will be divided into two geographical groups with the northern countries — Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela — playing in Colombia and the southern teams — Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay — playing their matches in Argentina.
The two guest nations, Australia and Qatar, will be assigned to a region at a later date.
There will be two groups of six teams playing each other once in a round robin format, meaning every team is guaranteed at least five matches, rather than the three they had in the current Copa edition in Brazil, where there were three groups of four teams.
The top four in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.
“The new format will allow every national team to play at least five matches in the nearest host country to them,” said CONMEBOL.
Two quarter-finals and one semi-final will be held in each host country.
It will be the second successive year that the tournament is played as CONMEBOL has decided to align the Copa America with the European Championships, to be played every four years and two years apart from the World Cup.
Throughout most of its history the Copa America has been played in odd years.