What is CONMEBOL?

Confederaci├│n Sudamericana de F├║tbol

CONMEBOL also referred as South American Football Confederation, is the oldest continental football federation in the world. It is governed by FIFA regulations and acts as the governing body of football associations in South America.Comprising of only ten member associations, CONMEBOL has the least number of all FIFA confederations.

The Confederation is considered as one of the most renowned and most prestigious sporting events in the world football arena. Its national teams have managed to defend the FIFA world cup title on nine occasions with Brazil being top on the list. Brazil has won the cup 5 times followed by Uruguay and Argentina with two titles each.

CONMEBOL also prides in having its member clubs win 22 Intercontinental Cups and 2 FIFA Club World Cups. Uruguay and Argentina have also triumphed in Olympic editions each securing two gold medals.

Organization

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL, Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol) is the continental governing body of association football in South America and it is one of FIFA's six continental confederations.

CONMEBOL is governed by a team of executive committee which is mandated with setting rules and regulations that govern the Confederation. The most crucial functions of the committee include: organizing official tournaments and dictating the rules to be followed, adopting disciplinary measures and any sanctions as per the set protocols and carry out statutes and regulations of the Congress.

The committee constitutes of the President, three Vice Presidents, a Secretary General, a Treasurer and six directors. Juan Ángel Napout was the president of CONMEBOL until December 3, 2015 when he was arrested in a raid in Switzerland as part of the U.S. Justice Department's widening bribery case involving FIFA. Wilmar Valdez (Uruguay) was interim president until January 26, 2016 when Alejandro Domínguez (Paraguay) was elected president. The first and second vice-presidents are Ramón Jesurum (Colombia) and Laureano González (Venezuela).

History and origin

The oldest continental confederation in the world, its headquarters are located in Luque, Paraguay, near Asunción.

The confederation was inaugurated in 1916 after a tournament held in Argentina during centennial celebrations to mark 100 years of independence. The edition involved the participation of four national teams from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. Thrilled by the success of the event, Hector Rivadavia, a leader from Uruguay proposed the establishment of a confederation.

The associations of the four participating nations debated on the idea and came to a consensus. Thus on July 9, 1916, CONMEBOL was founded.Hector Rivadia became the first president of the Confederation.

Over the years, the confederation attracted more members with Venezuela as the last member joining in 1952. The current number is ten making it the smallest FIFA confederation. However, it is the only confederation that is fully continental land-based.

International and club competition

The confederation has held many competitions since its foundation in 1916 with Copa America being the most popular with forty-four editions.Uruguay has dominated the Copa America Cup after being champions fifteen times, and the current title holder is Chile.

The Confederation also oversees other tournaments at under-20, under-17 and under-15 levels. One of the greatest achievements is organizing women football, Copa America Femenina being popular as the senior national team. Besides it runs the female under-20 and under-17 teams including Copa America de Futsal and Campeonato Sudamericano de Futsal sub-20.

CONMEBOL currently runs four men's senior and one under-20. This includes the two main club competitions in South America, Copa Libertadores, which was founded in 1960 and Copa Sudamericana formed in 2002.

Super intercontinental cups held in 1968 and 1969 are among the remarkable club competitions held by CONMEBOL. Throughout the 1990s, minor competitions such as Copa Master de CONMEBOL and Copa Master de Supercopa, which were open to only past winners were played.

The Copa Interamericana tournament played lastly in 1998, between the Copa Libertadores champions and CONCACAF champions was also notable. Other small editions open to only specific clubs were played between 1998 and 2001 and later succeeded by Copa Sudamericana.

Argentine clubs have set the record of being most successful, having won 66 titles followed by Brazilian clubs with 51 titles. Boca Junior has been crowned as the best club for defending the title in 18 competitions. Independiente holds the title for having triumphed the most in Copa Libertadores editions and is 2nd from Boca Junior with 16 titles.

National Members of the South American Football Confederation

CONMEBOL is made up of ten members, all from South America. The members share similar cultures, geographical and climate conditions.It has the least membership compared to other confederations. However, the Confederation has always stood out because of its simple round-robin system, strong home stands, and a great supporter platform.

The ten members are:

1.The Football Association of Argentina
2.The Bolivian Football Federation
3.The Brazilian Confederation of Football
4.The Football Federation of Chile
5.The Colombian Football Federation
6.The Ecuadorian Football Federation
7.The Paraguayan Football Association
8.The Peruvian Football Federation
9.The Venezuelan Football Federation
10.The Uruguayan Football Association