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So much for that big party in three and a half years.
Wednesday’s big news that a revamped Copa America was coming to the United States was the talk of the town, and had American soccer fans drooling at the prospects of a high-profile tournament coming to our shores in 2016. After years of rumors about the possibility, it was easy to fall in love with the news of it actually happening.
The only problem is neither U.S. Soccer or CONCACAF had agreed to such an event just yet.
Sources at U.S. Soccer have told SBI that no agreement has been reached on a Copa America on American soil, and all indications are that the event isn’t close to being finalized. So instead of beginning to prepare for an amazing event in 2016, we are all left to wonder whether this dream of an event can actually be pulled off.
CONCACAF is expected to issue a statement about the proposed event later this afternoon, as is U.S. Soccer, and with there being zero chance either of those statements including the words “Yes, this event is definitely happening” we are soon to be left pondering the possibility of it all falling apart before it ever becomes reality.
(UPDATED- Here is the statement from U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, released late Thursday afternoon, regarding a proposed 2016 Copa America in the United States:
While the idea of a Centennial tournament with some of the best teams in the hemisphere is certainly intriguing, it is not something we have agreed to host or participate in at this time. As CONCACAF stated, there are still a number of discussions that need to take place with CONMEBOL. U.S. Soccer would also need to be involved in discussions about hosting the tournament. We’re looking forward to those discussions in the near future.
And here is a statement from CONCACAF:
“Even though playing the 2016 Copa America in the CONCACAF region with our teams and those from CONMEBOL would be a wonderful experience for all fans, we are still in the midst of talks and negotiations between all parties involved in this decision,” said CONCACAF General Secretary, Enrique Sanz. “This is an idea we are hoping to materialize but we are still evaluating and discussing before it becomes official but the intention is definitely there.”
In other words, nothing is completed yet, and there is still plenty to be agreed to and finalized before a 2016 Copa America in the United States becomes a reality. There is a good chance some sort of event is agreed upon, but there are still plenty of hurdles standing in the way of the type of dream event first imagined when this news broke on Wednesday.