Copa America Betting Offers 2021
Copa America is essentially the South American version of the Euros, except unlike the Euros it hasn’t become as sprawling. This means less matches overall but much higher quality games in general. The tournament has had a chequered history since its beginnings as the South American Championship in 1916, but has since begun to achieve the notoriety it deserves since it was re-launched as Copa America in 1975.
The 2021 event (rescheduled from 2020 due to coronavirus) will be co-hosted by Argentina and Columbia and is the 47th edition of the championship that has hardly had a consistent timing in its history, the last three tournaments coming in 2015, 2016 and 2019. The next tournament will be in Ecador in 2024 and from that point on we are promised the Copa America will only be held in even years, perhaps lining up with the Euros.
The timing of Copa America coinciding when Euro 2021 is also on means there is a lot more betting interest than usual. This means better offers and incentives are available that can add value to your wagers. You don’t need to search around for the best deals however as we have done that work for you below. You can also find event info, format and history on this page.
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About Copa America
In order to understand what the Copa America is it’s helpful to look back at the tournament’s name prior to 1975 when it was known as the Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol, or the South American Football Championship.
It is the responsibility of the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol, or the South American Football Confederation, which is known by the acronym CONMEBOL, and involves the various national sides that come under the jurisdiction of the governing body for football in South America playing against each other in their own continent specific competition.
For fans of English football, the best way of thinking about it is that it is essentially South America’s equivalent to the European Championship. Given the various successes of teams from South America, with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina all having won World Cups, it’s fair to say that the Copa America is amongst the most competitive of the various continental competitions in existence.
There is also a women’s version of the tournament, which bears the title of the Copa América Femenina. First played in 1916, the Copa America is hosted by a different South American country each time it comes around.
2021 Tournament Format
|Group Match 1||12-14 June||6|
|Group Match 2||16-18 June||6|
|Group Match 3||20-23 June||6|
|Group Match 4||25-28 June||6|
|Group Match 5||30 June – 1 July||6|
|3rd Place Play-Off||11 July||1|
As you might expect for a competition that has been in existence since 1916, the format of the Copa America has changed a number of times over the years.
Between 1975 and 1983, for example, there was no host nation that would be the centre of operations for the tournament, instead being played in a standard home and away style that we might be more used to in league games.
We’ll look at the format as it was for the 2021 iteration of the event so as to give a clear idea of the way that it tends to work.
Owing to the fact that there are only ten national sides that come under the jurisdiction of CONMEBOL, there is no need for a qualification period ahead of the tournament.
Instead, all ten sides are automatically welcome to play in the competition and other sides are usually invited in order to make up the numbers. Here are the ten national teams that are part of CONMEBOL, as well as the year that they joined the confederation:
- Argentina – 1916
- Bolivia – 1926
- Brazil – 1916
- Chile – 1916
- Colombia – 1936
- Ecuador – 1927
- Paraguay – 1921
- Peru – 1925
- Uruguay – 1916
- Venezuela – 1952
The invited teams are necessary in order to make the 12-team format work, which has been in place since 1993.
The tournament is split into two halves: the group stage and the knockout round. There are two groups, a ‘North Zone’, which Columbia will enter along with; Brazil Ecuador, Peru and Venezuala, and a ‘South Zone’ which Argentina will enter along with; Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The two invited nations, Australia and Qatar will be allocated to either group via a draw.
The Group Stages
The group stage of the competition involves each team playing the others in their group in a round-robin style mini-tournament, meaning that each side will have played five games at the end of the group stage. Since 1995 three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss.
When the group stage matches are over, with the final games not having to be played at the same time unlike in other major international tournaments, the teams in each group are ranked according to the following criteria:
- Points won
- Goal difference
- Most goals scored
If those various criteria have been looked at and teams still can’t be separated, the following will be used to sort out the ranking:
- The team that has won the most points from other teams they’re tied with
- Goal difference in matches between teams that are tied
- Most goals scored in matches between teams that are tied
- The drawing of lots
The Knockout Stage
At the end of the group stage, the top four teams from each group progress to the knockout stage of the competition. This means that there will be eight teams in the second phase of the Copa America, making it the equivalent of a quarter-final stage of a normal cup competition.
Which sides will play each other is determined ahead of the tournament, normally according to which group they were in and which position they finished in the group. The teams play each other in the quarter-finals in a single-elimination match, with penalty shootouts being used should the game be tied after 90 minutes.
Indeed, the matches go straight to penalties in the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the 3rd-place play-off match, with only the final itself using extra-time if it’s needed.
Since 1993 CONMEBOL have invited two teams to take part in the Copa America, usually those that are part of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. This is because it is felt that they are both culturally and geographically close. Between 1993 and 2023, ten different nations were extended an invitation. These were:
- Costa Rica
- The United States of America
The USA were invited to be part of the Copa America every year between 1997 and 2007, but felt that they couldn’t accept the invitation because of the scheduling problems thrown up by the Major League Soccer’s season. This finally ended in 2007 when they entered the tournament for the first time since 1995.
Other nations have nearly been part of the Copa America, with Canada being invited in 2001 but withdrawing ahead of the actual event because of concerns about security at host nation Colombia. Japan were meant to take part in 2011 but couldn’t persuade European clubs to release Japanese players after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Spain, meanwhile, turned down the invitation prior to the same 2011 tournament because they didn’t want to interrupt the holidays that their players were due to take.
Selecting The Host Country
Prior to the 1987 iteration of the Copa America, there was no need to select a host because teams simply played each other in a home and away style tournament. In 1984, however, CONMEBOL’s Executive Committee decided to change the way that the tournament worked and to introduce the idea of all games being played in one country.
Rather than introduce a bid process, such as is seen for the likes of the Africa Cup of Nations and the European Championship, CONMEBOL chose to simply rotate the honour of hosting the tournament between the various countries. The first such rotation was completed in 1997 when Venezuela acted as the hosts.
In 2011 a new rotation began, with the idea being that it would be done in alphabetical order. CONMEBOL’s Executive Committee decided to give countries the choice of whether to host or not, rather than forcing them to do so. Argentina confirmed that they would host the 2011 tournament and Brazil were scheduled to do so in 2015, however the country was also already gearing up to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, so it was decided that Brazil and Chile would simply swap hosting duties for 2015 and 2019
The exception to this rule came in 2016 when it was the 100-year anniversary of the Copa America. To celebrate this special occasion, the Copa América Centenario was hosted by the US, marking the first time that the tournament had been hosted by a non-CONMEBOL country.
|Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes||Córdoba||57,000||1978|
|Estadio Malvinas Argentinas||Mendoza||49,268||1978|
|Estadio Alberto J. Armando||Buenos Aires||49,000||1940|
|Estadio Único||Santiago del Estero||28,000||2020|
* Stadium to be used for Copa America final
|Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez||Barranquilla||60,000||1986|
|Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex||Medellín||46,000||1953|
|Estadio El Campín||Bogotá||40,000||1938|
|Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero||Cali||36,000||1937|
The History Of The Copa America
The first club in a South American nation that offered football was Peru’s Lima Cricket and Football Club. That was established in 1859, but it took until 1893 for the Argentine Football Association to be formed. It was a sign of the sport of football’s growing popularity in South America, however, and in 1910 the Argentinian’s hosted an international competition to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the May Revolution.
That involved the hosts, Chile and Uruguay and was something of a pre-cursor to the Copa America, though it was not officially endorsed by CONMEBOL, if for no other reason than it didn’t exist at the time. Héctor Rivadavia, a board member of the Uruguayan Football Association, noted the popularity and success of this mini-tournament and put forward the suggestion that there should be a confederation that supported the associations of the biggest national teams in South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. This would go on to be CONMEBOL.
The Tournament Grows & Then Stalls
As the years progressed, more and more South American nations joined the new confederation, resulting in them being entered into the burgeoning competition. It meant that be the time the 1929 version of what was then the South American Championship rolled around, seven counties were eligible to enter. In the end, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile withdrew, leaving Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay to battle it out for the title. It was, however, proof the competition’s ever-growing strength, even if it did end up with Argentina winning their 4th title.
At the time of the 1930 World Cup, there was an immense sense of dislike between the federations of Argentina and Uruguay, leading to the Copa America not being held regularly again until 1939. Sadly that was also short-lived, with many of the tournaments that took place in the 1940s and 1950s not considered official by CONMEBOL. In 1959, for example, two separate tournaments were hosted by Argentina and Ecuador. It was largely because of a sense of indifference from the various national teams, sometimes participating and sometimes not.
The Copa America Renews And Develops
In 1959 the Copa Libertadores was formed, leading to some national sides to view the Copa America as the second-rate competition for the region. This attitude continued into the 1960s and in 1967 it seemed as though it had reached its natural conclusion. An eight-year break followed, with the tournament returning in 1975 with the new name of the Copa America and a new format that saw group matches played throughout the year and the defending champions given a bye to the semi-finals. This continued every four years until 1987.
In 1986 the decision was taken to move the tournament to an every-other-year format, also having it hosted by one country rather than see the matches played around the region. This new system involved the rotation of the host country and lasted from 1987 until 2001. The new way of working proved popular, with the Copa America soon being watched on television in both North America and Europe. This began to encourage the various nations to take the competition more seriously, with Brazil winning their first international tournament since 1970 when they won the competition in 1989.
The Shift To A 12 Team Format
The 1991 version of the tournament was the final time that the competition only involved the ten nations that were under the CONMEBOL umbrella. Everything changed for the Copa America in 1993. Hosted by Ecuador, all ten of the CONMEBOL nations took part but were joined by Mexico and the United States, with the former making it to the final where they were defeated by Argentina. It also marked the first edition since the competition’s foundation when neither Uruguay nor Brazil featured in the final four.
The two teams made up for it the following year, when Uruguay beat Brazil on penalties in the final. That also kick-started a response from the Brazilians, who went on to win four of the next five Copa America tournaments, only missing out in 2011 when Colombia defeated Mexico in the final. Since the shift to the 12-team format and the invitation of teams from outside of the CONMEBOL confederation, no non-CONMEBOL team has won the competition but Mexico have twice been losing finalists.
The Copa America trophy was bought from a jewellery shop in Buenos Aires named Casa Escasany in 1916, costing 3,000 Swiss francs. It weighs 9 kilograms and is 77 centimetres tall. There is a wooden base with numerous tiers on it, on which plaques are put and engraved with the tournament’s winner.
When the Copa América Centenario took place in 2016 a special edition of the trophy was designed, based on the shape of the original trophy but bearing the 2016 Copa America logo. The winning nation, Chile, got to keep the trophy in perpetuity.
Since 1997 the team that finishes as runner-up has been awarded the Copa Bolivia, which is a silver trophy that bears a small Bolivian flag on its base. That’s because Bolivia were the hosts for the 1997 edition of the competition.
Previous Winners & Hosts
|2021||Argentina & Columbia||?||?|
|2019||Brazil||Brazil v Peru||2-1|
|2016||USA||Chile v Argentina||0-0 (4-2 pens)|
|2015||Chile||Chile v Argentina||0-0 (4-1 pens)|
|2011||Argentina||Uruguay v Paraguay||3-0|
|2007||Venezuela||Brazil v Argentina||3-0|
|2004||Peru||Brazil v Argentina||2-2 (4-2 pens)|
|2001||Columbia||Columbia v Mexico||1-0|
|1999||Paraguay||Brazil v Uruguay||3-0|
|1997||Boliva||Brazil v Boliva||3-1|
|1995||Uruguay||Uruguay v Brazil||1-1 (5-3 pens)|
|1993||Equador||Argentina v Mexico||2-1|
|1991||Chile||Argentina v Brazil||Winner Final Group|
|1989||Brazil||Brazil v Uruguay||Winner Final Group|
|1987||Argentina||Uruguay v Chile||1-0|
|1983||Multiple||Uruguay v Brazil||2-0 / 1-1|
|1979||Multiple||Paraguay v Chile||3-0 / 1-0 Play-Off 0-0|
|1975||Multiple||Peru v Columbia||0-1 / 2-1 – Play-Off 1-0|
The table above shows winners in the Copa America era, since 1975
Interesting Facts and Stats
Any competition that has been in existence for more than 100 years is bound to have a few interesting things associated with it and the Copa America very much fits into that bracket. Here’s a look at some of those interesting snippets:
- Prior to the 2019 Copa America, Uruguay had won the tournament more times than any other team
- Argentina, however, could claim to be the more successful nation, having won it 14 times and finished as runners-up the same number of times
- All of the Copa America tournaments to date that have been hosted by Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay have been won by the hosts
- Argentina’s Guillermo Stábile is the most successful coach, having won the tournament 6 times
- Uruguay have appeared in more Copa America tournaments than any other country
- Argentina won the tournament 3 times in succession between 1945 and 1947
- Brazil’s Zizinho and Argentina’s Norberto Méndez hold the record for the most goals scored during the finals with 17 apiece
- In 1942, José Manuel Moreno scored the tournament’s fastest hat-trick when he netted 3 times in 10 minutes
- Argentina’s 12-0 win over Ecuador that same year is the latest win by a team in the competition
- Lionel Messi boasts both the most assists in the tournament as well as the most Man of the Match awards