Japan and Qatar are playing the Copa America 2019 in Brazil. Many people may consult the Geography teacher or some sort of may in order to ensure these two nations don’t belong to South America. But no one is such unaware of it but how can the Asian countries play in Copa America.
Both Japan and Qatar had played the Asian Cup recently and it’s not that they have qualified from Asian Cup. Obviously the two teams were the finalists in the competition though it’s not that the finalists of the Asian Cup were invited. It just went to become a coincidence. But the reason behind them playing in Copa America 2019 with 10 other South American nations is different. Since the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) has only ten members, additional invitees are required in order to create the workable tournament structure.
Initially, total 16 teams tournament was planned with 6 teams as invitees; three from North America and 3 from Asia, as was the case for 2016 Competition held in United States. However, it was decided that the tournament would follow 12 teams competition structure with two teams, Japan and Qatar, as invitees.
Qatar has been drawn in Group B consisting of mighty Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay whereas Japan is in Group C alongside defending champions Chile, Uruguay and Ecuador. Previously, Japan had played the same tournament in 1999 in Paraguay where they had finished at the bottom of their group table. But Qatar has never played before in the tournament. In 2015 edition Copa America, Mexico and Jamaica were the two teams to be invited in the tournament. So it’s not that the two teams have changed its continent.
Since, inviting of the nations in Copa America is not a new thing, there’s no need to be bewildered regarding the Geographical presence. Now, what really matters is how much impact these two teams are going to make in the tournament.