April 4 – The shared London office between Conmebol and UEFA was opened today (Monday) with the announcement that the first major project between the two confederations, the Finalissima match at Wembley between Argentina and Italy, is already sold out.
Just days after FIFA’s Congress in Doha, Qatar, that was notable for its underlying failure to unite world football under a clear and inclusive leadership, the world’s two leading confederations (at least on performance) have consummated a strategic co-operation agreement that was signed in February 2020 and extended in December 2021 as their trust in FIFA reached rock bottom.
Conmebol president Alejandro Dominguez and UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin were on hand for the opening of the shared office which will work on “common projects, including competitions, across various areas”, said UEFA.
As well as events, the co-operation will include working on joint refereeing and coaching programmes.
The confederations have indicated that South American teams playing in UEFA’s Nations League is one topic of exploration on the co-operation agenda.
“Conmebol and UEFA have decided to take their cooperation to a higher strategic level,” said Dominguez.
“We are the two continents with the most notable tradition and prestige in the most popular sport on the planet. On the pitch we are loyal rivals, but the comprehension that football is a powerful force for tolerant, peaceful and pluralistic societies, unites us.”
That unity will have its first public airing with a competition, the Finalissima at London’s Wembley Stadium on June 1 between Copa America 2021 champions Argentina and the EURO 2020 winners, Italy. Tickets for the match were sold out within a week with organisers saying only some hospitality tickets are left.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “Building a fruitful and lasting relationship such as ours came easy as we share the same love and passion for football. This shared office is the symbolic next step in the right direction for UEFA and Conmebol. It will help us work jointly to develop football across our confederations and beyond.”
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