Football officials in Americas discuss future joint events
NEW YORK (AP):
After staging a successful expanded Copa America in the United States for the tournament's 100th anniversary, football officials intend to discuss whether to establish a new event that would see regular competition between the regions.
And, the U.S. Soccer Federation hopes this year's tournament could be a springboard to hosting a World Cup for the second time.
"We hope it influences where the 2026 World Cup will be," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said yesterday.
With only the final and third-place game remaining, the 16-nation tournament has drawn 1.36 million fans, an average of 45,491. That's down from the 1994 World Cup in the US, but nearly double the average crowd of last year's Copa America in Chile.
"These are World Cup numbers - World Cup numbers for an event organised in seven months with 16 teams," Gulati said.
The Copa America, South America's championship, is played quadrennially a year after the World Cup and includes that federation's 10 nations and two invited teams. The CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean, is a 12-nation tournament played in odd-numbered years.
This year's special Copa included 10 South American teams and six from CONCACAF. New CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani said a new event could be scheduled for the even-numbered years between World Cups - when the European Championship is played - or the year before World Cups.