KENYA BROWN - Monday, October 26, 2015
CONCACAF, COMNEBOL and the United Soccer Federation announced on Friday that the Copa America Centenario will take place as planned in the U.S. in the summer of 2016.
The three groups confirmed the go ahead for the tournament after months of speculation that it would be canned due to the arrest of 14 soccer officials and marketing executives in May on corruption charges. According to an investigation, $110 million in bribes was discovered to have been paid by sports marketing firm Datisa, which owned the commercial rights to the Copa America Centenario.
It was reported that U.S. Soccer had refused to go forward with hosting the tournament unless CONCACAF and COMNEBOL could guarantee complete transparency. This included Datisa being completely removed from all aspects of the event.
In addition to the announcement that the Copa America Centenario would go on, the three federations revealed the formation of a new executive committee to govern it. The committee will consist of five members, two from CONMEBOL, two from CONCACAF, and one from U.S. Soccer. The intent is to provide even greater financial transparency regarding funds collected for broadcasting and sponsorships.
"We are extremely happy for our fans, our teams and our partners, that we were able to find a way to host the Copa America Centenario celebration in the United States under an entirely new structure for managing the tournament's operations and finances. The improved governance structure will bring greater accountability and transparency to the event so it can serve its two intended purposes - to celebrate the 100 years of history of Copa America, and provide a once in a lifetime spectacle for fans in the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL regions," officials from CONCACAF and COMNEBOL said in a joint statement.
The 16-nation tournament, which is scheduled 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.
It has not been determined which U.S. cities will host games, but it appears that the final will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasedena, California and one semifinal game will be played at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.