CHICAGO (Feb. 17, 2016) – The Copa America Centenario Executive Committee announced the procedures for the 2016 Copa America Centenario Official Draw, set to take place on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The draw, which will determine the groups and full schedule for the tournament, will be televised live on Univision in the United States and will feature former stars of the world's game from around the hemisphere.
The draw will be executed with a double-blind system involving the use of eight pots. The first four pots – the ‘team pots,’ – will contain groupings of four nations each. The final four pots – the ‘group pots,’ – will be used to randomly sort the nations, once drawn from the team pots, into the four groups.
Pot 1 will contain the four previously announced seeded teams. In efforts to maintain balanced representation of both Confederations in each of the four groups, the remaining 12 nations – four from CONCACAF and eight from CONMEBOL – will be sorted by Confederation into the three remaining pots – one for CONCACAF and two for CONMEBOL. The two pots containing CONMEBOL nations have been divided based on the December 2015 FIFA World Rankings, yielding the following:
Pot 1 (Seeded Nations): United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
Pot 2 (CONMEBOL – higher ranked nations): Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay
Pot 3 (CONCACAF – qualified nations): Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama
Pot 4 (CONMEBOL – remaining nations): Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
The four group pots will contain four positions each, one from each group, as follows:
Pot 5: A1, B1, C1, D1
Pot 6: A2, B2, C2, D2
Pot 7: A3, B3, C3, D3
Pot 8: A4, B4, C4, D4
The draw will begin with the pulling of the four seeded teams, in order of group, from Pot 1. As each team is drawn, the corresponding ball from Pot 5 will be drawn, and the seeded team placed in the respective head position of its pre-determined group – United States (Group A), Brazil (Group B), Mexico (Group C), Argentina (Group D).
Next, the team pots will be drawn in order, backwards from Pot 4 to Pot 2. The teams from Pot 4 will be pulled one by one, and a ball drawn from the corresponding Pot 8 to identify the group in which each nation will be placed.
As the teams in Pot 4 will be drawn into groups using Pot 8 (group position 4), those from Pot 3 will be sorted using Pot 7 (group position 3), and the nations from Pot 2 will receive their group assignment by pulling a ball from Pot 6 (group position 2). In this way, group positions are pre-determined by the pot from which a nation is drawn, while the group to which each nation from Pots 2, 3 and 4 is assigned remains in suspense until its ball is pulled from the corresponding group pot.
The evening will conclude with the dramatic drawing of Pot 2 - the highest seeded CONMEBOL sides - pitting continental giants against one another and revealing the full calendar and all the most noteworthy matchups for this summer's historic Copa America Centenario.
The Copa America Centenario, a once-in-a-lifetime soccer event, which honors 100 years of the Copa America tournament, will feature some of the world's best teams and players competing from June 3-26, 2016, across the United States. The tournament will feature the top star players from North, South and Central America, including Messi, Neymar, David Luiz, James Rodriguez, Kaka, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and many more. The final will be played at MetLife Stadium, in the metropolitan New York City area, on June 26.
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The 2016 Copa America Centenario is the historic centennial edition of Copa America - the South American championship - and will be staged outside of South America for the first time.