Side by side but not eye to eye! Concacaf and Conmebol would not join forces

Two different eliminatories, two different realities. Concacaf and Conmebol share geographic space but historically they do not play with each other

Two different eliminatory, two different realities. Concacaf and Conmebol share geographic space but historically they do not play with each other

Side by side but not eye to eye! Concacaf and Conmebol would not join forces

In January 2017, after the approval of FIFA to carry out a World Cup with 48 teams in 2026, the possibility was created for Concacaf and Conmebol to join their World Cup qualifiers, leading to the first preliminary competition with teams of the entire American continent. This idea, according to ESPN, was proposed by Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA -the world's top football organization- who also met with the leaders of Conmebol and Concacaf to discuss this issue.

According to the newspaper As of Spain, the meeting took place in Miami. However, an agreement was not reached between the two confederations, since the president of Concacaf, Victor Montagliani, assured that the difference in football level between the Conmebol teams and their confederation is very high, which would end up affecting the members of CONCACAF in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.

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In statements collected by the newspaper As, Ernesto Mejía, a member of the board of Concacaf, explained that "the president of Concacaf was very clear and does not see the merger with good eyes" although for him "this union would raise the level of our area, it would take several years to achieve it. "

His origins

The Conmebol is known as the oldest football confederation in the world, after its creation in 1916 to mark the 50th anniversary of Argentina's independence. At that time, only Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile participated -the first countries that practiced and played football at that time-. The other members would join with the years: Paraguay in 1921, Peru in 1925, Bolivia in 1926, Ecuador in 1927, Colombia in 1936 and Venezuela in 1952, confederations with fewer teams in the world: only 10 countries, according to the portal web Yes to Sports.

For its part, Concacaf would be created in 1961, after an alliance between two other confederations: the NACF, which represented North America and had been founded in 1946; and the CCCF, formed by countries of Central America and the Caribbean (created in 1937), according to the official website of Concacaf. In addition, three South Americans belong to this confederation since 2013: Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, for a total of 41 associated teams.

However, there was never an agreement or a project of union between these two confederations, despite representing teams from the same continent, so each one developed its own tournaments.

Joint participation

Despite not being together, Concacaf and Conmebol have participated together in continental tournaments, such as the Copa América, a competition organized by Conmebol, but since 1993, has had as members invited to several countries of Concacaf.

According to data from the website About Soccer, Mexico is the one that has had the most participation in the Copa América despite being from Concacaf, competing ten consecutive times since 1993. Costa Rica, the United States, Jamaica, Honduras, Haiti, and Panama, in fact, all, with the exception of Honduras, participated in the Centennial America Cup held in 2016.

At the club level, the Copa Libertadores de América, also organized by Conmebol, has granted since 2004 two places to clubs of the Mexican League, which despite never being champions, have achieved three sub championships.

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Global achievements

Regarding the representation that both confederations have left in international tournaments such as the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, in the case of the Confederations, Concacaf has a title (Mexico in 1999), a subtitle (United States in 2009) and three third places (Mexico in 1995 and the United States in 1992 and 1999).

On the side of the Conmebol, the achievements are much more numerous, with five titles thanks to the four championships of Brazil and one of Argentina. Four runners-up and no third place. At the World Cup level, the Conmebol has the highest winner of this tournament, with Brazil winning five times, as well as four other titles added between Uruguay and Argentina. Five runners-up and three third places. Concacaf has only achieved a third place thanks to the performance of the United States in 1930.


LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado

Translated from: '¡Juntas pero no revueltas! Concacaf y Conmebol no se unirían a pesar de la propuesta de la FIFA'

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