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SBD Global/September 6, 2013/International Football

Former South American Footballers Call For Investigation Of CONMEBOL Execs

Maradona, former Brazilian striker Romario and former Paraguayan fooballer José Luis Chilavert, "among other former South American football stars, on Wednesday attacked South American football governing body CONMEBOL, which they accused of 'robbery' after a meeting with team directors," according to the EFE. The meeting was summoned by former Brasileiro side Corinthians President Andrés Sánchez, whom Maradona is supporting for the presidency of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and for the CONMEBOL Exec Committee. Chilavert said, "This meeting is very easy to describe: it is a football revolution." During the meeting, a group of Uruguayan lawyers "presented a study that showed that South American clubs lost $120M in the last two years and CONMEBOL wasted $430M on supposed dark contracts and omitted billing in accounting books." Romario asked "for jail for the supposedly corrupt CONMEBOL officials." Romario: "An event like this, with so many important football people, is the beginning. We believe that now is the time for morality to begin to prevail in Brazilian and South American football. We are here to make everything clear about who should pay and who should go to prison." Chilavert said that football players "have less social security every year when they retire and CONMEBOL directors keep getting richer and they never played football" (EFE, 9/4). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw reported that Maradona said, "We have seen, with astonishment and great sadness, that football is for just a few. It doesn't belong to the clubs, the supporters or the players. So we are going to form a commission to unmask these people who do so much harm to the game. It's very serious, but thanks to all of us who are not afraid of those people ... we are here so that we can have a more transparent football." Romario described CONMEBOL as worse than the CBF. Romario said, "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" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/5).
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