CONMEBOL, CONCACAF Combine Forces for 2024 Copa América
In a landmark announcement, CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, and CONCACAF, their counterpart in North America, released the news that the two entities will embark on a vast collaboration in the near future. The highlight will the return of the Copa América to the United States in 2024. In our latest analysis, we look at the terms of this partnership, and its potential impact to grow the game in the United States.
The tournament had previously been held in the United States in 2016, with Chile repeating as champions, to mark the competition’s centenary. The ten South American teams were joined by six CONCACAF teams — the hosts, Mexico, Haiti, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Panama. At that event, which saw the same six sides participate, many of the matches were played to near-capacity crowds, and even if some stadiums weren’t sell-outs, even pitted against the concurrent European Championships, the tournament was a rousing success. The same, of course, is expected from this upcoming edition, but the return of the Copa América is just the tip of the iceberg, as the two federations revealed.
With the strong continued growth of the women’s game, both in the US and across North America, the two federations have also agreed to send four teams from CONMEBOL to participate in the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup. It’s set to be hosted by the United States, and this will be the first edition of the tournament, which will take place in June of 2024, following qualification for the CONCACAF sides. The eight qualifiers will be joined by four teams from South America — Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. Ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the tournament will be part of a crowded schedule, but will also be able to draw on anticipation ramping up for one of the showpiece events on the women’s football calendar.
Finally, moving away from national football, the two associations also announced that they are working toward the creation of a new four-team men’s club competition, also to be played in 2024. Two clubs from each confederation will qualify through existing competitions, but the name and location of the event have yet to be announced. For all of these new competitions, FOX and Univision will hold the broadcast rights, furthering their already well-established commitment to football in North America.
Alejandro Domínguez, president of CONMEBOL: “CONMEBOL and Concacaf are united by historical ties. But above all, we are united by the passion, characteristic of all the Americas, for football and sports. We are determined to renew and expand our joint initiatives and projects. We want this passion to translate into more and better competitions and for football and its values to grow and strengthen throughout the hemisphere. Without a doubt, both confederations believe in big things, and we will work with this together.”
Thus, while some details are still to be sorted, including which cities in the US will host the two tournaments, the summer of 2024 is shaping up to be a blockbuster one for football in the country.