RIYAD — The Saudi Arabia national football team may be one of the teams that will participate in the upcoming Copa America, which will be held in the United States of America in June 2024, according to well-informed sources.
Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) is making serious efforts to finalize the procedures to ensure the participation of the first Saudi national team. The revised Copa America system allows the participation of teams from outside the continent, as was the case in previous editions of the championship.
The idea of Saudi Arabia’s participation was floated when the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) invited SAFF to attend its 75th General Assembly, held last year in the Qatari capital of Doha, on the sidelines of the draw of the World Cup 2022, and at that time the news appeared that CONMEBOL would allow the Saudi team to participate in the next edition.
SAFF President Yasser Almishal confirmed this in an interview with MBC in February this year, saying that the Green Falcons had been invited by CONMEBOL to participate in the Copa América 2024.
The 2024 Copa América will be the 48th edition of the Copa America, jointly organized by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football).
The Copa America 2024 was expected to be hosted by Ecuador. But in November 2022, the country refused to host the tournament. Therefore, the tournament was postponed for a whole year after it was due to take place in the summer of 2023.
Later, both Peru and the United States had expressed interest in hosting the tournament. The tournament also acts as a prelude to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is co-hosted by the United States alongside Canada and Mexico.
Launched in 1916, the Copa America is the oldest football tournament in the world. It was limited to the teams from the South American continent until 1993, when Mexico was regularly invited to participate in the tournament as a host team. In 2016, the United States was awarded the right to host the tournament to mark the tournament’s 100th anniversary.
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