April 9, 2019 / 4:54 PM / 11 days ago

Revamped Copa America to take place in north-south zones in 2020

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The 2020 Copa America will mark a tournament revamp, with six teams beginning the campaign in a north zone in Colombia and six playing in a south zone in co-hosts Argentina, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Wednesday.

Argentina will be in the southern group, alongside Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and an as yet undisclosed guest.

Brazil will feature in the northern group with Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and another invited nation.

The teams will play each other once in their groups, and the top four sides in each group will then qualify for the quarter-finals. The final is to be played in Argentina.

The changes are part of a widespread attempt to revitalize South American club and international competitions and bring them more into line with Europe.

CONMEBOL have abandoned their six-decades long tradition of playing the Copa Libertadores final on a home-and-away basis, and will this year play the final at a neutral ground for the first time, much like the Champions League.

Next year’s Copa America will be the fourth in six years. Officials want the tournament to be played at the same time as the European Championship, Europe’s equivalent.

Reporting by Andrew Downie and Daniela Desantis; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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