London to host UEFA and CONMEBOL’s ‘Finalissima’

UEFA, football’s European governing body, has announced that a stadium in London will host a one-off match between Euro 2020 winner Italy and Copa América champion Argentina on June 1 next year.

The match has been dubbed Finalissima and forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding between UEFA and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

UEFA and CONMEBOL yesterday signed a renewed and extended MoU lasting until June 30, 2028. As part of the agreement, the two bodies will open a shared office in London and organise a range of events, the first of which will be next year’s Finalissima.

UEFA has not confirmed which stadium will be used to host the match between Italy and Uruguay, but the Daily Mail reports that Wembley is the preferred venue.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “There is a long tradition of cooperation between UEFA and CONMEBOL, as could be witnessed over the years with competitions such as the Artemio Franchi Trophy and the Intercontinental Cup, and it is with great pride that we are relaunching such a prestigious national team trophy to the delight of football lovers across the globe.

“We are very much looking forward to explore new opportunities together and we are eagerly awaiting the Finalissima in London in June 2022.”

CONMEBOL president Alejandro Domínguez added: “The final between Argentina and Italy on 1 June 2022 in London will be joined by other top-level sporting events, as befits the tradition of South American and European football. The opening of our joint office will allow us to face new projects with agility and vigour for the benefit of millions of fans on our continents and in the rest of the world.

“I would like to thank the members of the CONMEBOL Council who have supported this initiative with the utmost determination, and especially president Aleksander Čeferin and his team of collaborators, with whom we share the same vision about the strategic importance of our alliance.”

The decision to stage the match in London comes after significant crowd trouble marred the final of Euro 2020 between Italy and England at Wembley back in July. A number of ticketless fans forced their way into the stadium and earlier this month an independent review stated the “appalling scenes of disorder” came “perilously close to putting lives at risk”.

It had been suggested that Naples’ Stadio Diego Armando Maradona would be selected to host the Finalissima. Maradona, who died last year, won the World Cup with Argentina and two Serie A titles with Italian side Napoli, which renamed its stadium in honour of the club legend.

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