KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: European and South American federations UEFA and CONMEBOL have provided concrete evidence of ever-closer-ties by opening a joint office in London.

Evidence of like thinking emerged last year when CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez endorsed the opposition of UEFA opposite number Aleksander Čeferin to the biennial World Cup project being promoted by world federation FIFA.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino indicated during congress in Doha last Thursday that he was putting distance between himself and the original proposal which had come from the Saudi Arabia FA.

The first public evidence of the UEFA/CONMEBOL tie-up will be the so-called Finalissima between the winners of last year’s Copa America UEFA Euro – Argentina and Italy respectively.

This will be staged at Wembley on June 1 and tickets have sold out after only a week.

A UEFA/CONMEBOL statement concerning the office said:

The creation of a shared office follows on from the strategic cooperation agreement signed by CONMEBOL and UEFA on 12 February 2020, and its extension signed on 15 December 2021.

Through that agreement, UEFA and CONMEBOL will look to organise a variety of football events, while also cooperating in other areas such as refereeing and coaching programmes.

CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez pointed out the historical significance of the inauguration of the CONMEBOL/UEFA shared London office, stating:  “CONMEBOL and UEFA have decided to take their cooperation to a higher strategic level. We are the two continents with the most notable tradition and prestige in the most popular sport on the planet. On the pitch we are loyal rivals, but the comprehension that football is a powerful force for tolerant, peaceful and pluralistic societies, unites us.”

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin added: “Building a fruitful and lasting relationship such as ours came easy as we share the same love and passion for football. This shared office is the symbolic next step in the right direction for UEFA and CONMEBOL. It will help us work jointly to develop football across our confederations and beyond.”