RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s national football team may be one of the teams that will participate in the upcoming Copa America, which is scheduled to be held in June 2024 in the United States of America, according to well-informed sources.

Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) is making serious efforts with completing procedures to ensure participation of the first Saudi national team. The revised Copa America system allows the participation of teams from outside the continent, as it was the case in the previous editions of the championship.

The idea of Saudi Arabia’s participation was mooted when the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) invited SAFF to attend its 75th general assembly, which was held in the Qatari capital, Doha, last year on the sidelines of the 2022 World Cup draw, and at that time news appeared that CONMEBOL would allow Saudi team to participate in the next edition.

SAFF President Yasser Almishal confirmed this in an interview with MBC in February this year, saying that the Green Falcons were invited by CONMEBOL to participate in the 2024 Copa América.

The 2024 Copa América will be the 48th edition of the Copa America, to be organized jointly by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football).

The 2024 Copa America had been expected to be hosted by Ecuador. But in November 2022, the country declined to host the tournament. Therefore, the tournament was postponed for a whole year after it was scheduled to take place in the summer of 2023.

Later, Peru and the United States had both expressed interest in organizing the tournament. The tournament also acts as a prelude to the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which the United States is a joint host along with Canada and Mexico.

The Copa America, launched in 1916, is the oldest football tournament in the world. It remained limited to the teams of the South American continent until 1993, when Mexico was invited to participate as a guest team in the tournament on a regular basis. In 2016, United States was granted the right to host the tournament on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the tournament.

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