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Uefa and Conmebol eye return of joint competitions with new MoU

Image: Conmebol

European football’s governing body, Uefa, has signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South American counterpart Conmebol which could lead to the resumption of intercontinental competitions between the pair.

The new MoU replaces an agreement that was signed in 2012, with Uefa stating it forms the basis for an enhanced collaboration in a variety of domains to “foster the development and growth” of football on both continents.

Prior examples of competition collaboration exist between the two bodies with the Intercontinental Cup being contested by the reigning champions of the European Cup and Copa Libertadores between 1960 and 2004.

In July, Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin stated that advanced talks were taking place with Conmebol over a “champion of champions” national team match. He also discussed the potential for an agreement with Conmebol to stage a match between the winner of Euro 2020 and this year’s Copa América. The concept is not a new one, with Conmebol president Alejandro Domínguez having discussed the idea as far back as May 2017.

Uefa and Conmebol said the new MoU outlines the possibility to stage European/South American intercontinental matches, for a variety of age groups and for both women’s and men’s games. This will be further examined by a joint Uefa/Conmebol committee in the coming months.

It was also agreed to jointly work on a development strategy for women’s football in individual national associations, and to cooperate in the creation of commercial concepts and networks.

In order to advance cooperation on such projects, both governing bodies have decided to create four joint committees to specifically focus on the following matters: competitions, development, women’s football and refereeing. Uefa and Conmebol said ad-hoc commissions could also be formed to discuss other areas of cooperation when necessary.

Čeferin said: “Uefa and Conmebol have a long history and tradition together, notably through epic and thrilling competitions such as the Artemio Franchi Trophy and the Intercontinental Cup. This agreement marks a first step in allowing Uefa and Conmebol to closely cooperate so that we can share expertise and knowledge for the development of the game on both continents.”

Domínguez added: “We had been working months on this in order to have a very constructive and fruitful meeting, and I am delighted that Conmebol and Uefa agreed to cooperate further on a variety of topics. Together we can do a lot for the development of football and I am very much looking forward to this enhanced collaboration. This is just the beginning.”