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China to enter 2015 Copa America in Chile

The Chinese Football Association confirmed on Sunday that they intend to accept an official invitation from Conmebol to enter the 2015 Copa America in Chile as one of two guest nations.

It had been expected that Japan, who have played in the competition on previous occasions, would join Mexico at the competition. However, as part of the CFA’s plan to give players more “continental level” experience, China will now take part in the 12-team event.

It is thought that both Japan and Mexico both rejected invitations, which would have led to some conflict with the Concacaf Gold Cup and, in Japan’s case, added an extra burden to their European-based players.

If China, then, can confirm their presence at the 2015 Asian Cup later this week, they will find themselves entering two continental competitions next year ahead of the commencement of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Given that China is currently Brazil’s leading trading partner and Argentina’s second most important economic partner, their presence at the competition makes sense economically.

While China, some may feel, will add little to the overall quality of the competition, they will open the Copa America to a new audience and likely entice sponsors into the event.

The 2015 edition of the competition had been due to take place in Brazil, but will be hosted in eight Chilean cities due to the former’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup.

Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football's lead editor for news content.   His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.

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