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Why do USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica participate in the South American Championship?

Why do USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica participate in the South American Championship?

Copa America 2024: Why are USA, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica taking part in the South American Championship?

Teams from North and Central America have participated in the Copa America since 1993. Since the South American Association has only ten members: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, the number of participants has been increased to match the competition. In addition, the importance of Copa America should be expanded beyond the borders of South America.

16 teams are participating in this year's Copa America. In addition to the ten South American national teams, six participants from CONCACAF (Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football) qualified for the Copa America through the 2023/24 Nations League. The Copa America 2026 World Cup hosts – the United States, Canada and Jamaica – will also play additional competitive games in preparation for the World Cup.

After Ecuador declined to host the Copa America in November 2022, the United States was announced as the host as part of a closer collaboration between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL (the confederation of South American football). The Copa America also serves as a trial run for the 2026 World Cup.

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