European champion Italy will play Copa America winner Argentina next year, helping their governing bodies UEFA and CONMEBOL build closer ties amid power struggles with FIFA over the future of soccer.
UEFA confirmed plans on Tuesday to stage the first of three planned editions of the inter-continental game in June at a venue to be confirmed.
Naples has been suggested as a possible venue in the stadium now named for Argentina great Diego Maradona. Maradona became an icon in the city for helping Napoli win its only two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990.
“The agreement reached by the two organizations currently covers three editions of this match between the respective continental winners,” UEFA said in a statement, adding the deal includes “opening of a joint office in London.”
UEFA and CONMEBOL are defending the traditional four-yearly schedule of their continental championships and the World Cup from a FIFA-driven plan to play the World Cup every two years.
They have warned of European and South American teams boycotting a biennial World Cup if FIFA gets the plan approved by its 211 member federations.
Every World Cup since the first edition in 1930 has been won by a European or South American nation. The two continents have provided every semifinalist in the past four editions.