As the Copa América Centenario is set to kick off this summer, it is important not to forget about the histories of the other continental soccer federations that serve as the governing bodies for their respective nations’ regions around the globe. Save Antarctica, every continental region on Earth is home to its own federation, which are subsidiaries of FIFA, the governing body of international soccer around the globe.
For the special 100-year anniversary edition of the Copa América tournament, 16 teams (a full list of participating nations can be found here, at http://www.ca2016.com/teams), instead of the typical 12, will compete for the championship of the oldest international soccer tournament on the planet. In most other years, South America’s best players would put their talents on display, with the likes of Neymar Jr., Lionel Messi, and James Rodríguez of Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, respectively, squaring off on the pitch.
This coming summer, from June 3 to June 26, the centenary edition of the South American soccer tournament, aptly named the Copa América Centenario, will be hosted by the United States. During the month-long tournament, the 10 South American teams and six additional from North and Central America and the Caribbean will play games from Orlando to Seattle, from Foxborough to Pasadena, and a score of cities in between.1 However, the decision to have the special centenary edition of the tournament begs an obvious question: Why the United States?
The history of the May Revolution began on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in 1808 when the French Army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, had begun to make its way eastward across the Iberian Peninsula. After conquering Portugal, Napoleon and his forces invaded Spain, which caused King Charles IV to abdicate the throne to his son, Ferdinand VII, who was subsequently taken as a prisoner of France until 1814. In his stead, Napoleon placed his brother, Joseph, on the Spanish throne.1
From June 3 until June 26, 2016, a special centennial edition of the world’s oldest continental soccer championship will be played outside of South America for the first time in its hundred-year history. The 2016 edition of the Copa América tournament will take place in the United States, being featured in cities across the nation from Orlando, Florida to Seattle, Washington, and a handful of cities in between.