Bloomberg Línea — The Argentine national soccer team’s victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Sunday is the country’s third title in the tournament, following triumphs in 1978 and 1986, and the first time since 2002 that a South American nation has lifted the trophy, with Brazil having won that year, defeating Germany in the final.
But while the Argentine people are celebrating in the streets, the Argentine team’s directors were already thinking about how to exchange the US dollar-denominated prize money amid the exchange rate hike.
The national soccer team’s potential victory was one of the topics discussed last Thursday at the end of the meeting of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Argentina, according to Bloomberg News.
At the meeting, officials discussed the dollar-denominated prize money that the Argentine Football Association will receive, which implied $42 million from FIFA for winning the World Cup.
If Argentina had lost to France in Sunday’s final, it would have been liable to lose $30 million, Bloomberg News quoted a person with direct knowledge of the talks as saying.
Argentina’s team is also expecting another $10 million, pledged by the South American soccer association (Conmebol), which pledged the payout should the team led by Leonel Messi become the 2022 world champions.
However, the central bank believes that the euphoria sparked by the team’s win will not result in concessions.
According to the country’s financial regulations, the national soccer team will have to exchange its prize money in US dollars on the official exchange market, at a rate of around 172.70 pesos per dollar, which is half the value at which the peso is traded in the capital markets, where the exchange rate is 324 per MEP dollar.
The operation, which must be carried out within five days from the moment the prize money is received, would mean a loss of up to 7.86 billion pesos ($45.5 million) for the country’s soccer team.
At the same meeting of the the board of directors of the Central Bank of Argentina there was also talk of a 1,000-peso bill with the image of Lionel Messi. Argentina has already issued commemorative coins at key moments, such as the 1978 World Cup celebration, the Bicentennial in 2016 and the 50th anniversary of Eva Perón’s death.