Conmebol reports 2020 loss of $14.5m, but banking on Copa America for 2021 turnround

March 24 – South American governing body Conmebol incurred a loss of $14.5 million in 2020 due the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation announced on Tuesday at its annual congress.

It is the first time since Conmebol has introduced increased transparency over its financial accounts that the confederation has announced a loss. The South Americans first began publishing their accounts in 2017 and the negative figures in 2020 were in primarily due to the termination of various broadcast contracts once global health crisis hit.

In 2020, Conmebol generated revenue of $330 million, a 32% drop from the previous year. Brazilian broadcast behemoth Globo ended their Copa Libertadores broadcast contract, with DAZN doing the same for the Copa Sudamericana, the continent’s second-tier club competition, resulting in a drop in income of $43.4 million from 2019.

The confederation estimates that it missed out on $10 million in match-day revenue from having to stage both the finals of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana behind closed doors. To combat the Covid-19 crisis, Conmebol distributed $11.2 million from its own resources to national associations and clubs. FIFA donated another $15 million.

Conmebol had to dip into to its reserves to make ends meet in 2020, but confederation president Alejandro Dominguez struck an upbeat tone about the year to come, with the Copa America co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia set to be a money spinner that is expected to redress the imbalance in the organisation’s books.

The governing body projects a revenue of  $487 million for 2021 and is banking on local authorities opening 30% of stadium capacity during the Copa America to help achieve that ambitious target.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1618094231labto1618094231ofdlr1618094231owedi1618094231sni@o1618094231fni1618094231