FIFA Puts Argentine FA Under Administration, Makes Dupiellet Interim President
FIFA announced that it "has put the crisis-torn Argentine FA under the administration of a committee to put its house in order and prepare it for presidential elections," according to Luis Ampuero of REUTERS. The order included "suspending a proposed AFA election on June 30." The AFA, "run as a personal fiefdom" by the late Julio Grondona for 35 years until his death in '14, has since been "immersed in a financial and governance crisis." FIFA said in a statement, "This committee will administer the AFA’s daily activities, check its statutes to adapt them to the latest version of FIFA’s Model Statutes and organize elections by June 30, 2017 at the latest." Grondona’s successor, Luis Segura, "has automatically ceased to be AFA president with his place taken on an interim basis" by AFA Secretary Damian Dupiellet until the election of a new chair and board. An election held one year after Grondona’s death "ended in farce with a 38-38 tie between the two candidates, Segura and TV entrepreneur and show host Marcelo Tinelli, when only 75 delegates had a vote." A judge earlier in June ordered a lawyer and an accountant "to be installed at the AFA for three months to look at alleged irregularities in its management of match broadcasting funds" (REUTERS, 6/24). The AP reported Segura -- a member of FIFA's ruling council -- "was charged with fraudulent administration on Thursday in an investigation related to TV broadcasting rights." Judge Maria Servini de Cubria is "investigating irregularities worth millions of dollars" in public funds paid to the AFA from '09-15 in exchange for broadcasting rights of first and second division matches. The AFA "ended its broadcasting agreement with Argentina's most powerful media group" in '09 and struck a deal with the government instead for $41M at the time. Currently, the contract is worth $116M (AP, 6/24).
MESSI RIPS AFA: AS reported a four-hour delay on a chartered flight to New Jersey "was the last straw" for Lionel Messi. Messi "has had enough" of "lack of professionalism" in the AFA, posting on social media, "Once again waiting in an airplane to take off... What a disaster the AFA is, for God's sake" (AS, 6/24).