United States confirmed as Copa America Centenario hosts
U.S. Soccer will host the Copa América Centenario in the United States next year after the federation agreed to terms with CONMEBOL and CONCACAF to stage the tournament.
The fate of the tournament plunged into doubt earlier this year after a wave of indictments from the U.S. Justice Department ensnared top officials in CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and FIFA.
U.S. Soccer continued to express interest in hosting the one-off tournament to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Copa América, but the federation required assurances about the contracts underpinning the tournament and the governance structures used to underpin it.
The complications prompted CONCACAF and CONMEBOL to consider other hosts and hold a meeting in Mexico City last month in a bid to ensure the necessary levels of transparency and sort through the lingering issues.
CONCACAF and CONMEBOL cleared the final hurdle this week when the two confederations rescinded an agreement with marketing company Datisa earlier this week. Datisa agreed to a marketing deal for the 2015, 2019 and 2023 Copa America tournaments in 2013 and added the Centenario a year later for a reported $112.5 million. Those deals came under scrutiny after U.S. federal prosecutors alleged Datisa paid $110 million in bribes to secure those contracts earlier this year.
The marketing rights will be placed out to bid as part of the structure agreed upon by CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and U.S. Soccer. The three parties agreed to create a five-person Executive Committee — CONCACAF and CONMEBOL will have two representatives, while U.S. Soccer will have one — to oversee the tournament and pull together all of the particulars before the tournament is scheduled to start on June 3.
Twenty-four metropolitan areas submitted proposals to host tournament matches earlier this year. The executive committee is expected to select the sites in the coming months.