Copa America 2016 may not be in U.S., says CONMEBOL president Napout
CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout is unsure if the 2016 edition of the Copa America will be played in the United States as planned.
In an interview with Paraguayan radio station AM 1080 on Wednesday, the chief of South America's football federation, while indicating the tournament would in fact be played, expressed uncertainty as to where it will be held.
"The 100th anniversary will have a celebration and this will be on the field. We want to have a Copa Centenario, it's on the FIFA calendar and the idea is for it to be played. Whether it will be in the United States? We have to wait for some things to happen, review some things," he said.
The CONMEBOL showpiece had been in doubt because of its connections to the FIFA corruption and bribery scandal that rocked the sport months ago. A U.S. Department of Justice indictment included allegations that more than $100 million in bribes were used to secure the rights to the tournament meant to celebrate the South American governing body's 100th birthday.
Napout said in July that he was "very optimistic" about talking with CONCACAF leaders about staging the event in the U.S., however Wednesday's admission cast further doubt on the prospect of a stateside staging.
The 16-nation Centenario is scheduled June 3-26 and would include the 10 South American national teams and six invited teams from CONCACAF, including the U.S. and Mexico.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.