Copa America 2021 —one of the oldest tournaments in the world

There is less than a year to go for Copa America 2021 and our soccer API is ready to provide you with the most up-to-date information about one of the oldest championship in the history of football

It is already more than 100 years old, although in the first editions it was called the South American Championship. Copa America has been awarded 45 times and eight teams have had the pleasure of winning it. In 2016, for the first time in history, the host of the tournament was a country that does not belong to South America: the United States.

The motto of Copa America is: “The oldest national teams tournament in the world”. Nevertheless, this statement is not entirely true. In 1883-1884 the British Home Championship was played for the first time, although the rules of football were still being defined. It was played between four nations of the United Kingdom: Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. In that first edition the Scots took the title and it was played until 1984.

Football in Latinamerica: the origins of a special competition

In Argentina, a small championship had already been played in 1910 with the local team plus Uruguay and Chile, although it was not considered official. In 1913, the Argentine Association proposed for the first time to hold a tournament called Copa America and grouped together some South American teams. This only materialized in 1916 when Argentina celebrated its 100 years of Independence. While the tournament was being disputed, CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation) was founded on July 9 in Buenos Aires among leaders of the countries that were participating in the championship. This first edition was won by Uruguay.

‘South American Championship’ was the name that was given to the competition and in 1917 a trophy was already bought to present to the champion. Until 1929 it was held annually, with the exception of 1918 and 1928, and later it was held every two years on average. Starting in 1921, Paraguay joined the championship where only Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil participated until then. In 1926 Bolivia joined, in 1927 Peru did, in 1939 Ecuador played for the first time, Colombia made its debut in 1945 and Venezuela did so until 1967. The participation of the national teams was not constant and on some occasions one or two were missing.

Facts and curiosities of the Copa America

  • Uruguay has only stopped participating in two editions and is the country with the most tournaments played. They are followed by Argentina (40), Chile (37), Paraguay (35), Brazil (34), Peru (30), Ecuador (26), Bolivia (25), Colombia (20) and Venezuela (16).
  • The countries that have hosted the most tournaments are: Argentina (9), Uruguay (7) Chile (7), Peru (6), Brazil (4), Ecuador (3), Bolivia (2), Paraguay (1), Colombia (1), Venezuela (1) and the United States (1)
  • In 1993, non-South American teams began to be invited
  • Brazil did not allow black players in its national team from 1919 to 1922 by decree of President Epitácio Pessoa.
  • Martín Palermo lost three penalties in the same game, something that has not happened again in professional football. This was in Paraguay 1999 against Colombia.
  • In Argentina 2011 the Paraguayan team reached the final without winning a single game. They tied all three of the group stage, in the quarterfinals they beat Brazil on penalties and did the same in the semifinals with Venezuela. They lost the final to Uruguay
  • The biggest win of the tournament has been Argentina 12-0 Ecuador in 1942

Copa America 2021 —less than a year to go

Conmebol announced this Thursday an adjustment in the calendar and regulations for Copa America 2021, whose organization will be shared by Colombia and Argentina. Among the most important variations appears the dispute of the match for third place on July 10 in Bogotá, the same day as the final in Barranquilla. The change of up to three players from each country’s list will also be authorized, once the group stage is over, in addition to substitutions due to injury.

Copa America 2021, which will begin in Buenos Aires on June 11 next year, is made up of two groups of six teams, with the 10 South American teams plus Australia and Qatar as special guests.