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Conmebol moves to regain Copa America rights from Datisa

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has today (Friday) announced that it has sent notice to the Datisa joint venture company of its decision to terminate an acquisition contract signed in 2013 for the marketing of broadcast and sponsorship rights to the 2019 and 2023 editions of the Copa America national team tournament.

The decision comes after Concacaf, the governing body of football in the Caribbean, North America and Central America, in October 2015 followed Conmebol in ending its commercial rights partnership with Datisa in relation to the Copa América Centenario, which was held in the United States last year.

Three of the main shareholders in Datisa were among those indicted by the US in May 2015 during the crackdown on corruption in world football. The US indictment said the three men conspired to win and retain lucrative media rights contracts from regional football federations through the payment of up to $110m (€95m) in bribes. The three – Alejandro Burzaco, Hugo Jinkis and his son Mariano Jinkis – are all Argentine citizens.

Conmebol today said the US legal proceedings grant it the evidence needed to terminate the contracts with Datisa and cut its links with the firm “definitively”.

Alejandro Domínguez, president of Conmebol, said: “Since I took office as president (in January 2016), the new Conmebol has been engaged in a series of legal actions to break ties with the old and begin a new era of open and professional marketing that generates more value for South American football. 

“Among these efforts, Conmebol has been demanding from Datisa, without conditions and at zero cost, the return of sponsorship and dissemination rights that they acquired through acts of corruption.

“These gentlemen have admitted before the American justice to have paid bribes to former officials of the Confederation so that Datisa obtained the rights that are property of the Conmebol. However, in an absurd and desperate attempt to continue profiting from rights that were obtained illegally and corruptly, Datisa and its shareholders insist on hiding behind a corporate veil.”