China agree to enter 2015 Copa America

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-3 23:33:01

The Chinese Football ­Association (CFA) announced Monday that it had accepted the ­invitation from South ­American soccer's governing body, the CONMEBOL, for the ­Chinese national team to ­compete in 2015's Copa America in Chile.

But whether China could make their trip will depend on the approval of the AFC, CONMEBOL's Asian counterpart, according to the CFA.

Next year will see China take part in two continental events if they are given approval from the AFC and they can secure a draw against Iraq in Asian Cup qualification on Wednesday which could put them into the Asian Cup finals.

Luo Ming, vice editor-in-chief of Changsha-based ­Titan Sports newspaper, said the journey to South America would be "all helping."

"If China can participate in the Copa America, that would be all helping. For Team China, they can learn from high-level teams like Brazil and Argentina," Luo told the Global Times on Monday. "In return, the tournament will witness a considerable ­audience number and a big boost in marketing."

Luo's idea was echoed by most Chinese soccer fans.

"Since we failed to make the Brazil World Cup trip, the only major event before the next World Cup qualifying is the 2015 Asian Cup. Rather than playing friendlies, ­participating in such competitive games against better teams would be a great chance for the national team to learn directly from ­first-tier soccer," a soccer fan named Luo Le told the Global Times.

Yan Qiang, deputy editor-in-chief of, pointed out the time conflict between the Copa America and Chinese ­Super League (CSL) will bring a headache for the CFA.

"While it is obviously a great chance for the national team, the time conflict may result in some clubs declining to release their internationals, which means the CFA will get a headache over the coordination," Yan told the Global Times.

The Copa America will be held from June 11 to July 4, when the CSL is in the middle of the season, while the Asian Cup will take place in January 2015, a time the league is in preseason.

Since 1993, two teams from other confederations have been  ­invited to join the South American continental event as the CONMEBOL has only 10 members, the fewest members of all the confederations in FIFA.

Former invitees, regularly, include Costa Rica and Mexico thanks to their being geographically and culturally close to the South Americans.

The CONMEBOL stated last year that Japan were invited to the tournament, but Japan, whose national team consist mostly of European-based ­players, declined, saying their joining would bring burdens to their overseas players.

Global Times

Posted in: Soccer

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