Argentina Cup to be launched next season

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina will introduce a new knockout cup competition next season, an Argentine Football Association (AFA) official said on Wednesday.

The Argentina Cup, similar to European cup competitions, will be played by the seven highest divisions governed by the AFA, from the first to the provincial Argentino B, in single-tie matches.

"The tournament should start between August and December with direct elimination," Gustavo Cereza, executive president of the AFA's Federal Council, told reporters, adding details would be ironed out next week. The 2011/12 season starts in August.

"It was a good option that the president of the AFA (Julio Grondona) threw in (to the mix), that the champions (of the new competition) should win a place in the Copa Sudamericana," he told reporters after a meeting at AFA headquarters.

The Copa Sudamericana is the continent's Europa League equivalent.

"It's a great incentive for a (provincial) team... to play a tournament at national level, play with the best teams in Argentina and, even more to meet South American teams. This is a great possibility the AFA is giving to the provinces," Cereza added.