Argentina and Brazil football legends Diego Maradona and Romario have joined forces to attack the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), saying they will form a commission to investigate the distribution of revenue throughout the region, with media rights at the forefront of discussions.
The Reuters news agency said that Maradona, who is an ambassador for Dubai Sports Council, and Romario, who is a member of the Brazilian congress, met 20 South American clubs and a group of Uruguayan lawyers to demand changes.
The Peru21 news website added that the clubs have demanded that details of media rights deals for the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana continental club competitions are made public.
The clubs have called for greater transparency in the sale of media rights, claiming that participating teams do not receive a satisfactory share of revenue from such contracts.
Both Maradona and Romario have been long-standing opponents of Conmebol’s current set-up. Romario said: “The situation is really much more serious than we imagined. What has been presented here is one of the biggest disgraces that I have seen. I couldn’t imagine that there was an institution which… did so much harm to the sport. We have to get more people together. The clubs, the ex-players and the current players have to take the fight to Conmebol. It’s a movement for transparency and dignity in football. With this commission that we are going to form, we are going to see what has happened to all this money.”
Conmebol spokesman Nestor Benitez said that he had no comment to make about the accusations. “Everyone has the right to their opinion, football is generous and is an open field for all opinions,” he added.