Conmebol names bidders for 2020 club competition finals

Gonzalo Martinez of River Plate celebrates with the Copa Libertadores trophy following his side's victory in the second leg of the 2018 final against Boca Juniors (by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has announced that 12 stadia across Argentina, Brazil and Peru will contest the hosting rights for the finals of the 2020 Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana.

Next year’s finals will mark the second edition of a revamped hosting system for the events, with the two club tournaments to revert to a single game final at a neutral stadium from this year. In a statement released yesterday (Tuesday), Conmebol said that eight candidates have been selected for the Copa Libertadores final, with four venues to contest the rights to the Sudamericana. The Conmebol Council will decide on the host cities at a meeting on Thursday.

For the Copa Libertadores, six venues from four cities in Brazil have come forward. They are the Mineirão (Belo Horizonte); Arena do Gremio and Estadio Beira-Rio (Porto Alegre); the Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro); and Estadio do Morumbi and Arena Corinthians (São Paulo). They will contest the rights with Estadio Mario Kempes in Córdoba, Argentina; and Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru.

For the Copa Sudamericana, Estadio Mario Kempes has also made the shortlist, along with fellow Argentine venue Estadio Único in La Plata. Lima’s Estadio Nacional has also been put forward, while Brasília’s Estadio Mané Garrincha completes the list.

Conmebol said the criteria evaluated when selecting the host venues will be the vision, concept and legacy of the proposal, as well as the technical characteristics of the stadium and training grounds, the requirements for safety, mobility and accommodation, and various social, political, environmental and commercial aspects.

In August 2018, Conmebol selected Santiago and Lima as the first hosts of the revamped finals of its showpiece club competitions. Conmebol announced in February 2018 that the finals would revert to a single-game format from the 2019 season – a switch that the body says will be more lucrative for the teams involved.

The competitions had operated under a two-leg final system and a switch was first mooted for 2017, only to be postponed. Conmebol had been assessing the makeup of its club competitions and a system will be introduced mirroring that of European governing body Uefa for its Champions League and Europa League tournaments.

A bidding process took place for the 2019 hosting rights, with Conmebol assisted by FC Diez Media, the joint venture established by the IMG agency and digital media company Perform to advise the organisation on commercial rights for club competitions. The Chilean and Peruvian capitals both put forward bids, along with Montevideo in Uruguay.

However, while the 2019 Libertadores final is still scheduled to be played at Estadio Nacional in Santiago, the venue for the Sudamericana game has changed. Originally due to take place at Estadio Nacional in Lima, Conmebol in May said the match had been switched to Estadio Defensores del Chaco in Asunción, Paraguay.

In June, the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) announced an additional move to the capital city’s Estadio General Pablo Rojas due to redevelopment work at the originally intended stadium.