Brazil bound: Socceroos set for world stage

THE Socceroos' participation in the prestigious Copa America tournament has been sealed.

Australia will face Argentina or Brazil in their 2020 Copa America group, with Football Federation Australia set to confirm its involvement at the end of this week.

The groups have been decided, except for the whereabouts of the Socceroos and the other invited team, Qatar.

The northern group will be played in Colombia, featuring the co-hosts, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Argentina will host the southern group and face, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and arch enemy Uruguay.

Australia and Qatar, who are hosting the 2022 World Cup, will be divided.

Globo Esporte has reported that the entire knockout phase will then be hosted in Colombia.

The details will be finalised Thursday South America time, when South Amercian soccer's governing body CONMEBOL meets ahead of the opening match of this year's Copa America.

Graham Arnold is delighted with the opportunity. Picture: Getty Images
Graham Arnold is delighted with the opportunity. Picture: Getty Images

It is a massive boost for the Socceroos, who crave quality competition, as they attempt to qualify for a fifth successive FIFA World Cup.

Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez are among the superstars set to feature in the competition.

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold was relishing the chance to feature against some of the world's best in a competitive setting.

"It would be a wonderful opportunity, a really exciting one for myself, the players and the country. The invitation I believe is there - still a bit of paperwork to get through,'' Arnold said.

"This is where the players go to another level and when they do that they go to a bigger stage at club-land."

It would be the first time Australia features in the Copa America, which has traditionally invited teams from outside the continent to make it a 12-team tournament.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, are featuring in the 2019 Copa America along with Japan, but have been invited back for the 2020 edition.

The Socceroos would be guaranteed five matches, with 12 teams are divided into two groups of six, with the top four advancing to the quarter-finals.

While the 2019-2020 Copa Americas will be played back to back, the next edition will not be until 2024, underlining the glorious opportunity presented to FFA.

The tournament will take place June 12-July 12, 2020.
















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