Who will win the Copa America 2020

Copa America 2019: why are Japan and Qatar playing?

The Copa America is South American football in a class of its own. Brazil, Argentina and Co. - the tournament is peppered with top teams. Also there this year: Japan and Qatar.

The Copa America 2019 in LIVE STREAM at DAZN! One month is free here

Wait a minute: Japan and Qatar? Why are two of the twelve participants not from South America at all?

In this article you will find all the information about the participation of Japan and Qatar in the Copa America 2019. If you want a general overview of the tournament and want to find out where the Copa America is live on TV and LIVE-STREAM, you can find all the information in a separate article on our site.

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Copa America 2019: That's why Japan and Qatar are there


It was already clear in August 2018 that the two nations Japan and Qatar would be part of the 2019 South American Championship. But why is that actually the case?

Until 1993, the Copa America was always played in full knockout mode. Thereafter, the competition statutes were changed to the effect that in future a group phase should take place before the knockout phase. The problem for the organizers of the Copa America 1993 was the low number of participants in the South American football association CONMEBOL. There are only ten teams there (see list below). For comparison: UEFA has 55 member associations and the Asian Football Association 47.

There are other countries on the South American continent such as Suriname or Guyana, but these are not CONMEBOL members, but belong to the North American association CONCACAF.

So in order to be able to set up a tournament (a qualification for the Copa America does not exist) with a group stage of three groups of four teams each, the organizers invited two visiting teams - and that was the case (with the exception of 2016, when six visiting teams participated). For the sake of simplicity, the so-called "guest teams" were mostly from Central or North America.

Just not at the Copa America 2019: This time Japan and Qatar are there.

Copa America: These are the participants in CONMEBOL:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Ecuador
  • Colombia
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela


Copa America: Australia and Qatar have already been announced as guests for 2020


The national teams of Australia and Qatar will take part in the Copa America 2020 by invitation. This was announced by the South American confederation CONMEBOL shortly before the start of this year's edition in Brazil. Australia is making its debut at the continental tournament, Asian champions Qatar are already participating for the first time this year. The Copa 2020 will take place in Argentina and Colombia.

"We are delighted to have our Socceroos take part in this prestigious event," said Chris Nikou, President of the Australian FFA. "Our team will benefit from playing against some of the best players in the world."

Ten associations belong to CONMEBOL, but the Copa America is played among twelve teams. That is why two visiting teams usually take part in the meantime, and this year Japan is invited to join Qatar as well. From the 2020 edition, the Copa will switch to the rhythm of the European Championships.


Predecessors of Japan and Qatar: The most successful guest at the Copa America is Mexico


As already mentioned, it has been customary at the Copa America since 1993 to invite additional teams in order to be able to host a tournament with a total of twelve teams. Two guest teams are represented at each edition. Mexico, which has since participated in all ten tournaments played, can be rated as a "regular guest". For the first time, Mexico will not be part of the Copa America 2019.

The Mexican selection almost managed to win the Copa America twice: in 1993 and 2001, El Tri made it to the finals, narrowly defeating Argentina and Colombia.

Mexico's Copa America performance:

  • 1993: 2nd place
  • 1995: Quarter finals
  • 1997: 3rd place
  • 1999: 3rd place
  • 2001 : 2nd place
  • 2004: Quarter finals
  • 2007: 3rd place
  • 2011: Group stage
  • 2015: Group stage
  • 2016: Quarter finals