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COPA AMÉRICA

Copa América: Australia accept 2020 invitation

Copa América: Australia accept 2020 invitation

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Australia will feature at next year's Copa América for the first time in their history.

Australia will play at the 2020 Copa América after accepting an invitation from CONMEBOL.

The Socceroos are set to feature during next year's tournament in Argentina and Colombia, Football Federation Australia (FFA) confirmed on Friday.

Australia boss looking forward to "highlight of football calendar"

The 2019 Copa América, which kicks off in Brazil on Friday, includes guests Japan and Qatar and Australia will follow suit for the first time in 12 months.

"The Copa América is a highlight of the football calendar and we can't wait to get there," said Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold.

"We crave these opportunities as players and coaches. The experience we will gain from playing in this tournament will be incredible and I know by speaking to our players, they are equally excited about being part of one of the world's most prestigious football tournaments.

"Our planning for the FIFA World Cup Qatar has already started. We are building depth amongst our playing group, as evidenced by our performance in Korea Republic last week and playing in this tournament provides another layer of incentive for our players to put themselves up for selection for the national team.

"It will be a big couple of months as we start June next year with World Cup qualifiers and then head straight to the Copa América."

Australia - whose Asian Cup defence came to an end in the quarter-finals in January - faced South American nation Peru during last year's World Cup in Russia.

Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti and Qatar have all accepted invitations in the past.

FFA chairman Chris Nikou added: "We are ecstatic that our Caltex Socceroos will be participating in this prestigious competition for the first time in our history.

"We have been working hard over the last six months to improve our international relationships. This week we held fruitful final discussions with our colleagues at CONMEBOL in Paris and we are delighted we have been able to accept this invitation."