The Draw for the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 took place on Thursday night in Miami, Florida, during which the national teams from CONCACAF learned their group stage fate.
Taking part in the ceremony was CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, whose leadership paved the way for six CONCACAF guest teams to participate in next summer’s tournament and, as part of a strategic agreement between the two Confederations, for the competition to be hosted in the CONCACAF region.
Montagliani hailed the partnership formed by CONCACAF and CONMEBOL to come together to co-organize the Copa America 2024, and emphasized how next summer’s tournament complements CONCACAF’s own competitions, including Nations League and Gold Cups, and will provide ample preparation for CONCACAF teams ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America.
“It’s evidence of when leadership and two very important confederations come together and put football first. The game is going to win here because you’re going to have a great tournament next year,” said Montagliani in an exclusive interview with CONCACAF.com.
“I think we realized early on that we needed to make sure that we made our own competitions better, like our Nations League, our Gold Cup. This was an opportunity, after speaking with my counterpart, Alejandro Dominguez, to come together and partner with them, not just on the men’s side like we have now with Copa America, but also on the women’s side with a W Gold Cup. This fits in well with our strategy to increase not only the quantity of competitions, but also the quality of competitions, and this will help our teams prepare for the World Cup in our backyard,” added Montagliani.
The Copa America 2024 is just the latest sign of growth of football in the CONCACAF region. In addition to the Copa America 2024 and 2026 FIFA World Cup, the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup will also be played in North America.
Montagliani welcomes the abundance of elite-level football that will be played in the CONCACAF region in the upcoming years.
“FIFA is also going to have the Club World Cup here in 2025 and I think from a fan’s perspective, I’m not sure we’ve ever had this, so it’s a great time to be involved in the game, at whatever level you are,” said Montagliani.
Montagliani also hopes that the upcoming international tournaments to be played in North America opens the eyes of the rest of the world to see the strides made in football both on and off the field in the CONCACAF region.
“I think it’s a bit of a coming out party for our region. Obviously, we’ve struggled in the past at many levels, but I think, as I said a long time ago, for the work we’ve done in the last six years, we deserve the right to think long-term. We also now deserve the right to enjoy the present and all the football that is coming our way,” concluded Montagliani.