SPORT

2019 Copa America to kick off

will in , on Friday.

Guest nations Japan and Qatar were invited for the 2019 Copa America to round out the 12-nation tournament, which lasts through July 7.

Qatar will face Argentina, Colombia, and Paraguay, while Japan will play against Uruguay, Ecuador, and Chile.

Japan previously played in the Copa America in 1999, while Qatar will make its debut before hosting the 2022 World Cup.

Since 1993, several countries have been invited to compete in the tournament, usually coming from neighboring North or Central America or the Caribbean.

The South American football association has 10 members.

The top two nations from each group and the two best third-place nations will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Brazil -- an eight-time winner of the tournament -- will face Bolivia in this year's opening match.

Uruguay is the top Copa America champs, as they won the cup 15 times, most recently in 2011.

Argentina also won the cup 14 times, but not since 1993, and not with football star Lionel Messi as part of the squad.

Chile are the reigning champions, having beaten Argentina in the last two finals in 2015 and 2016.

Peru and Paraguay also won the cup twice each, while Bolivia and Colombia also won the cup once each.

The groups are as follows:

Group A: Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru

Group B: Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Qatar

Group C: Uruguay, Ecuador, Japan, Chile

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