Copa América, formerly known as the South American Football Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol in Spanish), is a men’s international football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL and CONCACAF. It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have participated.
Traditionally, 12 teams have played, with the exception being the Copa América Centenario (a special edition), in which 6 teams fromCONCACAF participate. Teams are placed in groups of four and compete in round robin play within their group; eight teams from the group stage advance and play single elimination matches until there is a champion.
The previous tournament format, established in 1993, involved 12 teams competing at venues in a host nation over a period of one month. As CONMEBOL had only ten member confederations, national teams from other FIFA confederations were invited to fill two other spaces, creating a 12-member group stage with three groups of four teams. From 1993 through 2015, five teams fromCONCACAF and one team from AFC have participated. The nine appearances by Mexico (CONCACAF) are the most appearances for a non-CONMEBOL team, while their two runner-up finishes are the highest for an invitee.
In 44 tournaments since 1916, eight of the ten CONMEBOL national teams have won the title, with only Ecuador and Venezuela yet to win. Uruguay has the most championships in the entire history, with 15 cups, while the current champion is Chile, with only one cup.
The Copa América is one of the most prestigious and most widely viewed sporting events in the world. The highest finishing member of CONMEBOL has the right to participate in the next edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup, but is not obliged to do so.