Football Federation Australia hope to confirm Australia’s participation in the 2020 edition of the Copa America within two weeks, with head of international relations Mark Falvo lauding the prospect of playing against “top level opposition” in the glamour tournament.
Currently in France at the FIFA Congress working over the fine details of an invitation too good to refuse, Falvo declared a deal for Australia to join Qatar and the 10 CONMEBOL nations in Colombia and Argentina next winter would be “an exciting adventure”.
With FFA having unsuccessfully bid to stage the South American football fiesta in Australia next year, Falvo - who has been joined by FFA Chairman Chris Nikou and CEO David Gallop in Paris - said the opportunity to become participants on Latin American soil arose from that initial contact.
“Nothing has been confirmed as yet but we are in initial discussions - and it would be great to be able to finalise something as significant as this,” Falvo told The World Game.
“It would be an exciting adventure and a chance to test ourselves against top level opposition.
“There is much more work to be done on the commercial side of things but we’re hoping to bring matters to a head over the next few weeks.”
It’s understood this opportunity to compete in the tournament which runs from 12 June to 12 July has come off the back of an earlier proposal for Australia to host the 2020 Copa America.
“We value FFA’s relationship with CONMEBOL and now we’re exploring this possibility,” Falvo added.
“It would give us extra big tournament experience with against a different style of opposition.
“It goes without saying that can only benefit the national team.”
The groups have reportedly already been finalised with Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela on one side of the draw and Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay the other.
Each group will include one of Australia or Qatar, who will also feature alongside Japan in this year’s Copa America, with the competition reverting to every four years after 2020 to parallel the European Championships.
The top four in each group advance to the quarter-finals, with the knockout phase to be played either exclusively Argentina or Colombia.