Earlier this week, an historic meeting took place at the Radisson Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay. Fifteen of the most influential Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) club presidents came together to create the Liga Sudamericana de Clubes, an organization demanding change – a move away from confederation corruption towards transparency and fair shares of income from TV licensing.
Below is the Acta de Constitución de la Liga Sudamericana de Clubes that came about as a product of the conference, endorsed by all 15 participating parties: Peñarol, Boca Juniors, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Racing, Nacional, Universidad de Chile, Colo Colo, Olimpia, Cerro Porteño, Liga Deportiva Universitaria, River Plate (Uruguay), Sporting Cristal, and Club. The teams represent a wide array of CONMEBOL countries, ranging from Uruguay and Argentina to Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Ecuador.
Eduardo Ache, ex-president of Uruguay’s Nacional, stated that it’s high time for change. A rupture with the confederation’s difficult past is long overdue. “Ultimately, the only thing that FIFA does is manage passion for fútbol. And a confederation like CONMEBOL has to add value. All FIFA does is manage what we generate with our teams. What is happening today is a democratic awakening of the masses,” he said.
The new plan calls for the creation of three special committees, each of which has certain powers to intervene in confederation affairs (effective immediately): legal commission, negotiations commission, and administrative control and audit commission. Among their objectives are the transfer of TV rights from CONMEBOL to team property (as per previously existing Article 69), as well as the receipt of club payments at least seven days prior to game days and an annulment of any obligation to give 10 percent of proceeds to the confederation.
Just last month, 16 more Latin American soccer officials were indicted in ongoing investigations into #FIFAGate. The Liga Sudamericana might be the first step in a long fight against what has up to this point appeared to be omnipotent, unstoppable corruption.