ASUNCION, (Reuters) – South American soccer’s governing body CONMEBOL has enough prize money to get through the Copa America but might struggle to meet its commitments for future tournaments, the head of Paraguay’s APF said yesterday.
Alejandro Dominguez was responding to media reports suggesting CONMEBOL, which runs football at a continental level, did not have the money to pay the winners of the tournament taking place in Chile.
The prize money comes principally from sponsors and media companies that buy the rights to broadcast the tournament.
The reports said some of those companies would not be able to pay if their accounts were frozen as part of a U.S.-led investigation into corruption surrounding the sport’s world governing body FIFA.
“As far as I understand, neither the Copa America nor the Libertadores Cup are at risk,” Dominguez told Paraguayan journalists in the Chilean city of La Serena, where Paraguay have been based during the tournament.
The Libertadores Cup is South America’s top club competition and the equivalent of Europe’s Champions League.
“It’s true that these companies have literally disappeared,” Dominguez said. “I understand that the top executives at CONMEBOL are worried about this because there are some very prestigious tournaments coming up in the future.”
As well as the Copa America and the Libertadores Cup, CONMEBOL also organises the South American qualifiers for the World Cup, which start in October this year.
The winners of this year’s Copa America should receive $4 million in prize money, the runners-up $3 million and the third and fourth-placed teams $2 million and $1 million respectively.