COPA AMERICA AT LV BET — SOUTH AMERICAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Copa America is one of the oldest and most prestigious men’s international football competitions in the world. Organised by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), the tournament is held every four years and crowns one of 10 CONMEBOL national teams as South America’s champions. Since 1993, the Copa America tournament extends an invitation to two additional teams from other confederations, allowing 12 teams to compete for the coveted title.
In conjunction with UEFA’s decision to postpone UEFA Euro 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Copa America tournament was put on hold until 2021. The 2021 Copa America is the 47th edition of the South American tournament and takes place from 13 June to 10 July 2021. Keep tabs on the LV BET Sportsblog to learn more about the event, its format, fixtures and Copa America betting previews.
What Is Copa America?
Previously known as the South American Football Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano de Futbol in Spanish and Copa Sul-Americana de Futebol in Portuguese), the Copa America tournament is South America’s biggest and most explosive football championship held since 1916. All 10 CONMEBOL national teams compete and, occasionally, teams from other confederations also join the tournament — such as the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
Copa America History
In the early 20th century, football rapidly conquered the southern continent; the first international competition between South American nations was held in 1910, but it wasn’t until Argentina’s 1916 Campeonato Sudamericano that the first Copa America officially took place. The tournament commemorated the centennial celebration of Argentina’s independence from Spain’s rule. Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and the hosts participated in the tournament between 2 and 17 July 1916; Uruguay drew 0-0 with Argentina and went on to win their first title in the deciding match at the Estadio Racing Club in Avellaneda.
This championship’s success was evident before the final match, prompting Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay to establish CONMEBOL on 9 July 1916. At the time, Copa America was an annual event. The following year, the competition was hosted in Uruguay, who defended their title in a rematch against Argentina 1-0. The 1918 tournament was postponed until 1919 due to a flu outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, where the championship was scheduled. Hosts Brazil won the tournament in a play-off match against Uruguay 1-0, who reclaimed their title the next year in Chile.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Copa America championship was the largest football tournament in the world, but tensions between the football federations of Uruguay and Argentina led to the suspension of the event between 1930 and 1939. A special edition of the tournament was hosted by Peru in 1939, who then won the competition for the first time. During the 40s, the championships were played irregularly and raised questions of validity, even though they were later approved by CONMEBOL. During these years, Argentina became the first and only nation to win three consecutive Copa America championship titles (1945-1947).
Copa America Teams
Since 1993, Copa America includes 12 competing teams: 10 CONMEBOL nations and two invitees from other confederations, usually CONCACAF members. Over the years, Australia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Qatar and the United States have all received invitations to the Copa America football championship. Canada, China and Spain also made it on the list, but all withdrew from the tournament before it began.
How Often Is Copa America?
Until the second half of the century, the tournament’s format and frequency varied; the competition was held annually, then every two years, then three and later four, with 6-9 teams participating in the group stages while the defending champions received a bye into the semi-finals. The tournaments had no fixed venue, and all matches were played throughout the year in each country. In 1975, the tournament returned after an eight-year absence under a new name — Copa America. It wasn’t until 1986 that CONMEBOL decided to return to having one host country and contesting the title biennially, which held in place until 2001. From 2001 to 2007, the tournament was held every three years and every four years from 2007 onward, except the centennial 2016 Copa America Championship.
Where Is Copa America Held?
The event is typically hosted in rotation by the 10 CONMEBOL members: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The 100th edition of the tournament — Copa America Centenario — took place in June 2016 and was held in the United States. This massive event marked the first time the tournament was hosted by a non-CONMEBOL nation.
Copa America Winners
As of 2019, the most decorated Copa America winners are Uruguay, who have won the trophy 15 times since the event’s conception in 1916. Argentina are hot on Uruguay’s heels with 14 wins, all obtained before 1993. Brazil rank third with nine Copa America wins; Paraguay, Peru and Chile won twice, while Colombia and Bolivia each sport one championship win. To date, Ecuador and Venezuela are the only CONMEBOL members without a championship title.
Most Memorable Copa America Finals
Here are some of the most iconic finals in Copa America’s history:
- Argentina vs Brazil, 1937 — This is the first time that these football superpowers met in the Copa America championship’s final; Argentina won 2-0.
- Brazil vs Paraguay, 1949 — The final ended in a jaw-dropping 7-0 for Brazil, one of the most significant score differences in Copa America history, falling second after Argentina ploughed through Ecuador in 1942 with a score of 12-0.
- Paraguay vs Brazil, 1953 — Only four years later, Paraguay took the title (their first) from Brazil in a brilliant 3-2 comeback win.
- Peru vs Colombia, 1975 — This historic final was played in a two-legged tie system; Peru won the play-off, defeating Colombia 1-0.
- Uruguay vs Brazil, 1995 — The final ended in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw, leading to Uruguay’s 5-3 victory.
- Chile vs Argentina, 2015 — Chile’s national team waited a long time for their first victory! With a score of 0-0 after 120 minutes, Chile won 4-1 on penalties. The following year, history repeated itself when Chile tied 0-0 with Argentina and defended their title 4-2 on penalties.
Copa America Best Players
To date, Argentina’s Norberto Mendez and Brazil’s Zizinho are the joint all-time top scorers in Copa America history, with 17 goals each. Peru’s Lolo Fernandez and Uruguay’s Severino Varela rank just below with 15 goals each. Surprisingly, only two players from the current national teams have made it to the Top 15 Scorers list: Paolo Guerrero from Peru with 14 Copa America goals and Chile’s Eduardo Vargas with 12.
Copa America 2021
All 10 CONMEBOL national teams will participate in Copa America 2021; Australia and Qatar, the two previous winners of the AFC Asian Cup, were on the invitee roster until their withdrawal in early 2021. The confederation was cornered into running the tournament only with the 10 teams, which hasn’t happened since 1991.
Copa America 2021 Format
The 10 confirmed Copa America teams are split into two groups:
CONMEBOL South Zone (Group A): Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
CONMEBOL North Zone (Group B): Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
Each group plays a round-robin tournament, with each team scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank teams within a group; three for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. Goal difference and the number of goals in all group matches also play a role in the Copa America group ranking. The knockout stage is a single-elimination tournament with penalty shootouts used to determine the winner if a match is tied after 90 minutes in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and after extra time in the Copa America final.
Copa America 2021 Venues
The Copa America 2021 tournament will take place in nine venues across nine cities in Argentina and Colombia. Argentina will host the South Zone group in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, La Plata and Santiago del Estero, while Colombia will welcome the North Zone group in Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla. Each country will host two quarter-finals and one semi-final; the third-place match and final will be played in Colombia. The full Copa America schedule can be viewed on the official CONMEBOL Copa America website.
When And Where To Watch Copa America
The 2021 Copa America will be played from 13 June to 10 July, at the same time as the European Championship (11 June – 11 July). Considering that the UEFA tournament is bound to draw more spectators, the 2021 Copa America championship may struggle to reel in the views.
The Copa America fixtures will be televised and can be watched by international viewers on channels like beIN Sports, NBC and ESPN, or on live-streaming platforms. In South America, the event will be broadcast on Rede Globo, SporTV, TV Publica, Bolivision, Canal 13, Venevision and others. In North America, you can tune in to Fox Sport (English) and Telemundo (Spanish) in the United States, Televisa and Canal 4 in Mexico and El Salvador, Teletica or Repretel in Costa Rica and CTV in Canada. After the event, you’ll be sure to come across all Copa America highlights on TV and online; most channels will also have updated Copa America tables, featuring the latest match results and current standings.
Copa America 2021 Odds & Bets
After their February withdrawal from the 2021 Copa America, Qatar and Australia are no longer on the list of participants. The final list of teams was confirmed on 15 March 2021, with a press release announcing that only 10 teams will be competing in this year’s event; online Sportsbooks will soon feature updated Copa America betting markets and odds.
As it stands, Argentina are favourites to win the title; the 2021 Copa America tournament might be Lionel Messi’s last chance to hold the trophy and would be the nation’s first championship win since 1993. Scaloni’s team aside, punters should keep Brazil, Peru and Uruguay on their radar, as well as Chile, who won two consecutive championships against Argentina in 2015 and 2016.
How To Bet On Copa America — LV BET Sportsbook
The first Copa America fixtures are just around the corner, with Argentina facing Chile on 13 June. Before you get your betslip ready for the biggest football competition in South America, you’ll want to make sure that your punts find the back of the net. Choose LV BET, your one-stop Sportsbook where you’ll find unbeatable odds and comprehensive selections on the most explosive sports events of the year, including the 2021 Copa America championship. You can wager on the championship winner outright, match result, an individual player’s stats or take a shot with an over/under wager. At LV BET, you can also enjoy a variety of in-play bets on the upcoming matches, with updated Copa America odds on unique betting markets as the action unfolds.