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Australia, Qatar pull out of Copa América due to scheduling clash

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Australia and Qatar have pulled out of this summer's rescheduled Copa América as the tournament clashes with rescheduled AFC World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifying dates, Conmebol has announced.

The South American confederation said it wants to replace Australia and Qatar with two other teams. "There is a calendar issue that stopped Australia and Qatar, but we have already seen interest from other national teams to play as guests in their place. We would like to have 12 teams," Conmebol spokesman Ariel Ramirez told the Associated Press. The tournament will be played with 10 teams if no replacements are found, Ramirez added.

The two invitational teams were set to join 10 others from South America in the tournament, which will be hosted by Argentina and Colombia in June and July. The event, which will be held in two countries for the first time, was postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qatar were lined up to play in Group A with champions Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, while Australia were due to play in Group B alongside Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay.

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