Sources: Copa America Centenario to go ahead in United States in 2016
CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and U.S. Soccer are finalizing plans to move forward with the Copa America Centenario in the United States next summer, multiple sources told ESPN FC, after corruption concerns threatened the tournament.
An official announcement of the tournament could come as early as Friday, sources said.
The one-off, 16-team tournament, which will include Mexico, the U.S. and four other teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean alongside 10 South American nations -- former World Cup winners Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay among them -- will mark the 100th anniversary celebration of that continent's regional championship.
The event was announced last year but has been in doubt since May, when the U.S. Department of Justice indicted several top officials from CONCACAF and
CONMEBOL, the respective confederations of North and South America, on corruption charges.
As host, U.S. Soccer will organize the tournament in conjunction with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.
The final will be played at the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, California, a source told ESPN, with one of the semifinals at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in May that more than $110 million in bribes had helped secure the rights to the Copa America Centenario.
Days later, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati expressed doubt when asked by ESPN if the competition, which would feature global icons such as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, would go ahead.
The event appeared unlikely to happen in the United States as recently as last month, as the U.S. Soccer Federation had not received assurances that all financial transactions related to the commercial rights for the tournament were lawful and transparent.
One sticking point included having Datisa, the sports marketing company that originally owned the commercial rights for the Centenario, return the money it received for selling those rights to third parties, including Mexican multimedia company Televisa. That proved tricky, as Datsia's assets had been frozen by the DOJ.
But signs of progress began to emerge last week, and sources now say the tournament will be held as planned.
The Copa America debuted in 1916 but has never been staged outside of South America. Since 2007, it has been played every four years in the summer following a World Cup year.
The 2015 event was held in Chile, with the host nation beating Argentina on penalties in the final.
Uruguay has been the competition's most historically successful team, winning the title 15 times.