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US to host centennial Copa America in 2016

AP - Sports
US to host centennial Copa America in 2016

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The United States will host a special 16-nation edition of the Copa America in 2016, marking the soccer tournament's centennial.

The tournament will take place from June 3-26, overlapping the European Championship, which will be played in France from June 10 to July 10. In addition, qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup are scheduled from May 30 to June 7.

Copa America organizers have asked FIFA to put the event on the international calendar, which would mean clubs would have to release players to national teams. A decision by FIFA is not expected before September.

The event was announced Thursday by the Confederation of South American Football (CONMEBOL) and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Possible sites include the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California; Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens; and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

''This was two years in the making,'' CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb said. ''Now I know why it took 100 years.''

The U.S. and Mexico will be among the six teams representing CONCACAF, which also will send the winner of this year's Caribbean and Central American Cups. The other two nations will be determined by playoffs involving the four non-qualified nations that advance farthest in next year's CONCACAF Gold Cup. All 10 CONMEBOL teams will participate.

The regular Copa America, South America's quadrennial championship, is scheduled for 2015 in Chile and 2019 in Brazil.

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