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CONMEBOL rejects US proposal for Americas event in 2020

South American football confederation rejectsa US plan for a new tournament between nations from North, Central and South America and the Carribean.

Friday 1 March, 2019
Ramiro of Brazil's Corinthians, left, falls as he fights for the ball with Nery Cardozo of Argentina's Racing Club, hands up, during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
Ramiro of Brazil's Corinthians, left, falls as he fights for the ball with Nery Cardozo of Argentina's Racing Club, hands up, during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. Foto:AP Photo/Gustavo Garello

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CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, on Thursday rejected a US proposal for a new intercontinental tournament next year, noting that it would overlap with next year's Copa América and did not have FIFA's approval.

Carlos Cordeiro, the head of the US Soccer Federation, had written to the 10 federations that make up CONMEBOL offering to stage the new event featuring the best teams from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

The event, which would have strongly resembled the successful 2016 Copa América Centenario held throughout the United States, would have been held at the same time as the 2020 European Championship.

The proposed event would guarantee nearly US$200 million to be shared amongst the invited teams and their ruling bodies, according to The New York Times.

The winners of the tournament would have earned more than US$11 million.

But in a letter to Cordeiro, CONMEBOL chief Alejandro Domínguez said the logistical details were too difficult to overcome.

"The lack of approval and scheduling by FIFA of a Continental Cup for 2020, an essential condition for it to be held... makes it impossible for CONMEBOL and its member associations to accept the invitation," said the letter obtained by AFP.

Domínguez also expressed surprise that the US proposal came "shortly after, in January 2019, CONCACAF rejected our invitation to participate in the 2020 edition of the Copa América." He was referring to the governing body responsible for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

He also lamented that the US and Mexican football federations "sadly" and "inexplicably" declined invitations to take part in the 2019 Copa América in Brazil.

After the Brazil event, CONMEBOL plans to switch the Copa América to the same schedule as the European Championship from 2020. No host nation has yet been allocated for the 2020 event.

CONCACAF had welcomed the US proposal, saying the event would complement its own regional championship, the Gold Cup.

Dominguez again invited Team USA to play in the 2020 Copa América.

- TIMES/AFP

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