FIFA Takes Control at Scandal-Hit Argentine Football Association
FIFA has appointed a Normalization Committee to run the scandal-hit Argentine Football Association (AFA) on a day-to-day basis and prepare the organisation for essential Presidential elections, it has been announced. World football’s governing body has ordered elections be held no later than June 30 next year.
Steps have already been taken to repair the AFA, which remains embroiled in a financial and governance crisis, as President Luis Segura has been replaced at the helm by AFA secretary Damian Dupiellet.
Segura had taken over from predecessor Julio Grondona, who died aged 82 in 2014 having been AFA President since 1979, in December.
Dupiellet will hold the interim role until elections for the new President and Board are held.
The AFA have been accused of financial mismanagement of match broadcasting funds, with Segura charged earlier this week with fraudulent administration.
The investigation is thought to concern irregularities, worth millions of dollars, in connection with public money the AFA received for a six-year period between 2009 and 2015 in exchange for broadcasting rights of domestic games in the nation.
These reportedly involve both the Argentine Primera División and Argentine Primera B Nacional, the nation’s section-tier competition.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled a lawyer and an accountant work within the AFA to look at the charges of financial misconduct leveled at the organisation.
The developments have prompted FIFA to step in and seize control of the AFA after world football’s governing body and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) conducted a visit to the country at the beginning of June.
The Normalisation Committee was established by the Bureau of the ruling Council, FIFA’s re-branded Executive Committee, and will be comprised of “five to seven members”.
“The Committee will be in charge of running the daily affairs of the AFA, revising the AFA statutes in order to bring them in line with the current FIFA Standard Statutes, and organising elections accordingly by 30 June 2017 at the latest,” a FIFA statement read.
“The decision to appoint a Normalization Committee comes after a joint FIFA and CONMEBOL mission visited Argentina earlier this month.
“There will be between five and seven members of this normalization committee, and they will be identified by a joint FIFA and CONMEBOL mission to take place soon.”
Argentinian star and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has also hit out at the AFA, labeling it as a “disaster” after the team’s plane was delayed in Houston on Thursday (June 23).
Messi and his Argentina team are due to play in the final of the Copa América Centenario against defending champions Chile at the MetLife Stadium tomorrow.
The news is the latest problem to hit the AFA after December’s Presidential Elections descended into farce when Segura and challenger Marcelo Tinelli, a television personality, were tied at 38-all despite only 75 officials being able to vote.
The debacle forced the postponement of the election, held at the governing body’s General Assembly in Buenos Aires.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz