US to move forward with hosting 2016 Copa America

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation has agreed to move ahead with hosting next year’s Centennial Copa America.

The announcement was made Friday, two days after Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and the South American Confederation of Football (CONMEBOL) announced they ended relationships with Datisa, the marketing company that held Copa America rights. U.S. federal prosecutors allege Datisa agreed to pay $110 million in bribes to South American soccer officials.

The USSF said in January that 24 metropolitan areas expressed interest in hosting games and eight to 13 stadiums of 50,000 seats or more likely would be selected. The deadline for venues to submit proposals was March 16, but tournament planning slowed after prosecutors unsealed indictments in May against 14 soccer officials and marketing executives

The two confederations and the USSF said Friday a new five-person executive committee will oversee the tournament, including two members each from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL and one from the USSF. The confederations plan to issue a joint request for proposals for commercial partners.

The 16-nation tournament, to be played from June 3-26, 2016, will feature all 10 national teams from South America and six from CONCACAF, including the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Jamaica.

The areas that expressed interest to host were Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; New York/New Jersey; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Phoenix; St. Louis; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.