Colombia to host 2020 Copa America final: officials

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BOGOTA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The head of the Colombian Football Federation (FCF), Ramon Jesurun, said Friday that the country has beaten Argentina for the right to host the 2020 Copa America final.

The final will be played at Estadio Metropolitano in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla on July 12, Ramon Jesurun said.

"A final decision has been made. Barranquilla will host the Copa America final because it is the stadium with the greatest capacity (in Colombia)," Jesurun told RCN Radio. "CONMEBOL (the South American Football Confederation) has placed Barranquilla as the first option."

The comments came just hours after Colombian President Ivan Duque told a public gathering that CONMEBOL chief Alejandro Dominguez had called him to confirm the "great news", according to local media reports.

CONMEBOL could not immediately be reached for comment by Xinhua.

According to Jesurun, the Colombian cities of Bogota, Medellin and Cali are also likely to be allocated matches during the event.

Earlier this month, CONMEBOL announced that Colombia and Argentina would co-host next year's Copa America, which will include guest nations Australia and Qatar.

The competition will be divided into two groups of six teams. The northern group - whose participants will play all of their first-stage matches in Colombia - will feature the host nation, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru.

Argentina will stage the southern group of Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina Bolivia and Chile. A draw will be held to decide the group allocation for Australia and Qatar.

Teams in each group will play each other once, with the top four sides from each zone progressing to the quarterfinals. It is still unclear where the quarterfinals and semifinals will be played.

Colombia hosted the event just once before, in 2001 - the only time they were crowned champions.

The 2020 Copa America will be the fourth edition of the world's oldest international continental football tournament in six years. It will revert to a quadrennial cycle from 2020, in line with the European Championship. Enditem

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