Japan, Qatar get invites to 2019 Copa America in Brazil
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The 2019 Copa America in Brazil will feature 10 teams from South America plus invited guests Japan and Qatar, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said .
Several nations have had special invitations since 1993, including Japan who played at the 1999 tournament in Paraguay.
The guests usually come the neighbouring North and Central America and the Caribbean confederation so the inclusion of Qatar, the Gulf nation hosting the 2022 World Cup, is new.
CONMEBOL said the presence of the two non-Latin nations is due to the “great interest of the Asian Football Confederation in participating in CONMEBOL tournaments and to the South American Football Confederation’s commitment to developing football around the world.”
The Copa America, which started in 1916, is world’s oldest international soccer tournament. Next year’s hosts Brazil have not won the trophy since 2007.