CONMEBOL releases new Copa America schedule

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) unveiled a new match schedule for this year’s Copa America following the withdrawal of guest teams Australia and Qatar.

The tournament will begin on June 13 with a clash between Argentina and Chile at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires. Paraguay and Bolivia will meet later the same day at the Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza. “As is traditional, CONMEBOL invited teams from other confederations,” the Paraguay-based entity said in a statement on Monday, Xinhua news reports.

“However, the suspended matches and delays brought about by the pandemic that affected world football impeded other nations from participating.”

Originally scheduled for 2020, the 47th edition of the Copa America — to be played in Argentina and Colombia — was postponed by a year because of Covid-19.

It will mark the first time the world’s oldest international football tournament will be staged in two countries.

Australia and Qatar announced their decision to pull out of the competition last month due to a clash with rescheduled 2022 Asian World Cup qualifiers.

Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay make up the southern group while reigning champions Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru have been placed in the northern section. The final will be played in Colombia’s Caribbean port city of Barranquilla on July 10.