Qatar, Japan to play at 12-team Copa America

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Qatar and Japan will complete a 12-nation line-up for the 2019 Copa America, it has been confirmed.

2022 World Cup holders Qatar will feature alongside the likes of hosts Brazil and Argentina, while Japan are also invited to take part for the first time since 1999, when they did not qualify from the group stage.

 

Originally, the 2019 Copa was initially expected to comprise 16 countries, the same number as at the previous edition, with Portugal and Spain reportedly in talks over taking part.

But CONMEBOL announced on Friday it will instead be a 12-team tournament, although details of the venues are yet to be confirmed.

"[It] will be an exciting competition, in which anyone can take the title," said CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez.

"In addition to the participation of the national teams of our 10 member associations, we welcome again the selection of Japan, with whose association we are united by a close bond of friendship, and for the first time, we will have the participation of Qatar."

Chile have won the last two editions of the Copa America, beating Argentina on penalties in both the 2015 and 2016 finals.

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