The European Football Confederation (UEFA) and South America (CONMEBOL) on February 12 signed an agreement that not only promised cooperation on a wide range of topics, but was also considered an ultimatum to FIFA.
According to AFP, CONMEBOL and UEFA signed a memorandum of understanding in Nyon (Switzerland) to replace the 2012 agreement. Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA President said that the agreement that day marked the first step in allowing UEFA and CONMEBOL work more closely, so they could share expertise and knowledge for the development of the tournament on both continents.
A UEFA statement states that the memorandum covers many topics. They included education and training, promotion and development, competition organization, safety and good governance. The two organizations discussed arbitration exchanges, a coordinated policy on training licenses, and arranged intercontinental matches.
In his statement, CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez said: “If we work together, we can do a lot for the development of football and I look forward to this enhanced cooperation. This is just the beginning”. Mr Dominguez’s statement was understood that the cooperation between the two organizations could start a breakaway if there are continued disputes with FIFA.
UEFA has strongly criticized the plan to set up an expanded format World Club by 2021, hosted by China, by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. FIFA approved the plan in March last year despite UEFA objections.
Some responded that FIFA was only thinking of its own interests to host the Club World Cup from 7 to 24 participating teams. Therefore, it is not excluded that the cooperation is the beginning of the UEFA and CONMEBOL plans to prepare for the formation of separate tournaments without involving FIFA. According to sources, Dominguez also expressed dissatisfaction about Infantino’s direct discussions with South American clubs about their involvement.