CONMEBOL approved Argentina and Colombia's hosting of next year's event ©Getty Images

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has confirmed a format change to next year’s Copa America, which will be held in Argentina and Colombia.

The countries were confirmed as the joint hosts earlier this month, with CONMEBOL rejecting an offer from the United States to stage the event.

The body claimed this was partly due to FIFA’s approval of a request to stage the tournament on a new quadrennial cycle from 2020.

Last year Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) also reportedly rejected an invitation for six of its member associations to participate in the next three editions.

It will be the first time the Copa America has been hosted by two countries.

CONMEBOL has stated rather than the traditional format in which teams contest three groups of four, six nations will now feature in two groups.

The groups will be separated into a North Zone in Colombia and a South Zone in Argentina.

Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru will feature in the North Zone with Colombia.

They will be joined by one of the invited nations to the tournament.

Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia will join Argentina in the South Zone, as well as the second invited team.

“The central objective of this change is to provide more facilities for fans and geographically bring the matches of the selections to the South American public,” said Alejandro Dominguez, CONMEBOL President.

"The fan can enjoy at least five games of his selection, which reinforces the show and the sports party."

Teams will be split into two zones with six nations placed in each group ©Getty Images
Teams will be split into two zones with six nations placed in each group ©Getty Images

The top four teams in each group will progress to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Organisers have yet to confirm which nation will host the quarter-final, semi-final and final matches of next year’s event.

The format change means the tournament will feature 38 matches, 12 more than the current format.

This year’s Copa America will take place in Brazil.

The 2020 joint hosting of Argentina and Colombia comes amid a combined South American bid to stage the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay are working together in an effort to stage the tournament.

They are expected to face competition from a joint bid from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia, as well as an effort from Morocco.

Morocco could potentially join forces with Spain and Portugal.

A joint British Isles bid by England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the Republic of Ireland, could be backed by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.