U.S. Soccer should say no to Conmebol and UEFA

Organizing the Copa America, the South American championship for national teams, in the United States threatens to open the floodgates. Or at least Conmebol and UEFA are talking about holding the finals of their biggest club championships in U.S. cities.

First, there was talk of Conmebol turning the Libertadores Cup final into a single game and moving it to Miami in 2017

The Brazilian daily Estadao reported that Conmebol was considering abandoning the two-leg final that has been used every year since the tournament's launch in 1960. Conmebol's reasons? An "economic solution," according to Estadao.

Now, new UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has told the Associated Press he wants to adopt an "open bidding process" for the right to host the Champions League final. How open? He wouldn't mind the game being staged in New York.

"It might be an idea in future but we have to speak about it," Ceferin said. "To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York. For the fans, it's no problem but we should see. It's a European competition so let's think about it."

Travel between most of Europe and the United States -- first class all the way -- might not be a problem for the Slovenian Ceferin now that he is UEFA president, but for most Europeans it's still certainly shorter and more convenient to get from their home to, say, Cardiff, whose Millennium Stadium will host the 2017 final.

Travel within South America isn't always as easy. Miami, a hub for travel to South America, may be convenient for many South American fans but no South American country is part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.'s Grant Wahl reported that U.S. Soccer had no interest in green-lighting the Libertadores Cup final's move to Miami.

U.S. Soccer should quickly squash the idea of UEFA opening up the bidding on the Champions League final to U.S. venues.
10 comments about "U.S. Soccer should say no to Conmebol and UEFA".
  1. Karl Schreiber, October 20, 2016 at 7:41 p.m.

    I agree, kinda. But it's capitalism. Anybody can come and buy a factory or real estate, why not rent a stadium for profit?

  2. Jose Melero, October 21, 2016 at 5:12 a.m.

    Capitalism also goes to the level of cutting out most fans who will not have the means of traveling from Brazil to NYC. The confederations are set up regionally, although our regions are huge, let the games be regional to the fans. The one reality about hosting in the USA is that we have huge populations from other countries that could support and afford the ticket and travel costs. But that certainly leaves all of the other loyal supporters thousands of miles away on the outside looking in!

  3. Paul Cox, October 21, 2016 at 9:34 a.m.

    As an American, I'd love having big games that counted being played in places where I can more easily go see the game.

    As a soccer fan, I'm disgusted by how greed continues to rule more and more of soccer.

    I vote "NO" to both of these proposals.

  4. Kent James replied, October 21, 2016 at 10:59 a.m.

    My sentiments exactly.

  5. Brian Kraft, October 21, 2016 at 10:02 a.m.

    Meh. CONMEBOL should decide for CONMEBOL, and US Soccer should not limit CONMEBOL's sovereignty. If it is a mistake for CONMEBOL, then let the fix or solution come from within CONMEBOL.

  6. Bill Wilson, October 21, 2016 at 10:36 a.m.

    Nobody cares about the local fans in the stadiums anymore. It is all about new markets and national (and international) TV money because these are generating a Fort Knox like haul for these leagues and confederations. The NFL, rapidly followed by college football, have led the way in all of this. How about night playoff games in Green Bay in January? Tuesday night college football in neutral sites that bid the highest anybody? It is only a matter of time before we see the Super Bowl played in Tokyo or London too. Let all Confederations play wherever they want in the US as long as US soccer takes a healthy share of the proceeds and reinvests it back into our domestic soccer programs.

  7. Colborns , October 21, 2016 at 1:34 p.m.

    Certainly a substantial portion of ticket holders would travel from South America or Europe for such games; do you mean that our tourism industry and stadiums and cities can't use the business?

  8. David Mont, October 21, 2016 at 3:38 p.m.

    I love all the sanctimonious condemnations here. I assume none of you would ever change your job for higher pay or try to sell a house for as much money as you can get.

  9. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, October 24, 2016 at 10:14 a.m.

    Exactly - this is a business. Reminds me of all the people condemning Bradley for moving to MLS. Sure the level of competition is not as good but his salary went from about $1m to $6m! I'm sure all of the people complaining about MB would turn down a 6X increase in their salary right?

  10. aaron dutch, October 26, 2016 at 9:18 p.m.

    I think it would be great to have Champions final in NY and Lib in Miami & any other matches they want. Why would we be not for this? this is awesome.

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