The president of the South American federation categorically rejected U.S. Soccer’s proposal.
CONMEBOL has reportedly rejected U.S. Soccer’s offer to participate in a proposed intercontinental tournament in the summer of 2020. U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro offered to both host and finance the combined tournament in a letter on Tuesday.
In his response letter, as first reported by Brazil’s Globo, South America’s top soccer official Alejandro Dominguez categorically rejected the invitation. Dominguez said the 10 South American confederation’s men’s national teams would prefer to keep their own continental championship, the Copa America, as their first priority. Copa America is the oldest international soccer championship in the world.
Dominguez also cited a lack of FIFA approval for the new event as a reason for declining the invitation.
U.S. Soccer’s offer reportedly included “almost $200 million in guarantees to the invited teams and their governing bodies” and would guarantee each nation millions for appearance fees, travel costs and bonuses for each point earned in the new prospective tournament. The winner could have reportedly earned more than $11 million.
Cordiero proposed a structure similar to the 2016 Copa América Centenario, a one-off tournament that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the South American competition by playing an expanded and off-year edition in the United States featuring the 10 South American nations and six Concacaf participants. Chile won the final in East Rutherford, N.J.
The tournament, according to Cordeiro’s letter, was not intended as a replacement for the Copa America or Gold Cup. If no revival of the offer occurs, U.S. Soccer is reportedly expected to press ahead with plans for a scaled-down tournament featuring national teams from other continents, potentially including Africa and Asia, per the New York Times.