FIFA scandal puts Copa America 2016 in question, says CONMEBOL exec

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- South American football's second most powerful official says the bribery scandal surrounding FIFA puts in "question" next year's Centennial Copa America tournament scheduled to be played in the United States.

Jose Luis Meiszner, the secretary general of the South American governing body CONMEBOL, told radio in Buenos Aires: "Today one has to question the possibility of playing this tournament."

Meiszner said a main stumbling block was that Jeffrey Webb, head of CONCACAF -- the governing body for North America, Central America and the Caribbean -- was being held by Swiss authorities in the bribery scandal.

Next year's Centennial Copa America is to feature 10 South American teams and six from CONCACAF.

"We have to be prepared for enormous turmoil to hold this event, given the rights holders are also being questioned," Meiszner said.

United States Soccer Federation chief Sunil Gulati expressed similar concerns for the tournament's viability last week.

"Given everything that's happened, it's hard to say what the final result of that would be," he said on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Justice's indictment included allegations that over $100 million in bribes were used to secure the rights to the South American showpiece.

This year's Copa America starts June 11 in Chile and features 10 South American teams, with Mexico and Jamaica playing as guest entries.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.