Copa America: Qatar to face Argentina in Brazil

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World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar will face Argentina in this summer's Copa America.

Qatar - who along with Japan are guests at the tournament in Brazil - will be playing in their first tournament outside of Asia.

Japan were drawn in the same group as Uruguay and defending champions Chile.

The tournament starts in Brazil on 14 June.

Who will play who in the Copa America?

Group A: Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru

Group B: Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Qatar

Group C: Uruguay, Ecuador, Japan, Chile

Why are Japan and Qatar in it?

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A frankly excellent question.

Since 1993 Conmebol - the South American Football Combination - have invited two teams from elsewhere in the world to play in each Copa to make up the numbers for a 12-team tournament. Before then, the 10 teams from Conmebol who automatically qualify were split into two groups of five.

Mexico and Costa Rica are the teams to have made the most guest appearances, with this summer's edition the first finals that Mexico have missed since 1993.

Originally there were meant to be 16 teams in this year's finals, with six Asian teams joining in. However, the format was trimmed back to the usual 12 with Japan and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar accepting invitations.

Japan have played in the Copa before - failing to navigate their group in 1999 - while Qatar are making their debut.

Who are the favourites?

The top two in each group, plus the two best third-placed teams, qualify for the knockout stage which begins in the quarter-finals. Then it's a straight knockout to the final on 7 July.

Chile have won the past two tournaments but have slipped to 13 in the world rankings - below Denmark - so hosts Brazil are likely to start as favourites.

Will Lionel Messi return to lead Argentina? The Barcelona legend has not played for his country since last summer's World Cup and there is speculation that he could retire from international football - again.

Argentina have won the tournament 14 times but not since 1993, while Uruguay's 2011 win was a record 15th success.

Recent Copa winners

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