? Japan and Qatar were the finalists for this year's tournament, and though Japan were favourites to win the competition, it was ultimately won by Qatar 3-1 in the final. Qatar have never played in the Copa America before and will be using the competition to get used to a higher standard of football ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted in their country. Interestingly, Japan were the first team outside of the Americas to feature in the competition. Copa America 2019 draw on January 24 The Copa America draw will be made on January 24. The Copa America is the continental competition for the nations in South America. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the. Why are Qatar and Japan playing in the Copa America? Japan and Qatar were announced as invitees last May, with CONMEBOL giving their official rationale in a statement which read: “The presence of both teams is due to the high interest of the Asian Football Confederation to participate in CONMEBOL competitions and the commitment of the South American Football Confederation to contribute to the development of football worldwide.”. “Mexico and [the] United States were invited, there are formal invitations given to the federations of each of those countries. How Partey can help solve Arsenal’s creativity issue. Initially, six extra teams - three from North America and three from Asia - were set to be invited in order to create a 16-team tournament, as was the case for the 2016 centenary competition in the United States. This led CONMEBOL to invite Costa Rica to participate instead, who accepted. So why are Japan and Qatar set to take part in the Copa America this year? Up until the mid seventies the competition was known as the South American Football Championship and until the nineties it exclusively featured teams from CONMEBOL, the continental governing body. The most obvious answer, though, is South America, the continent which lends the tournament its name. As the South American football federation (Conmebol) only has ten members, additional invitees are required to create a workable tournament structure. Qatar have been invited to play in this year's Copa America tournament (Image: REUTERS). Qatar face the perfect preparation for the 2022 World Cup with a daunting match against Lionel Messi and Argentina. The 2019 Asian Cup was Qatar's first tournament win, and they will also be hosting the next World Cup in 2022 – perhaps another reason for the invite. Initially, six extra teams – three from North America and three from Asia – were set to be invited in order to create a 16-team tournament. When does Copa America 2019 start?