BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – FIFA 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, world soccer’s governing body announced on Friday.
The AFA, run as a personal fiefdom by the late Julio Grondona for 35 years until his death in 2014, has since been immersed in a financial and governance crisis.
“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,” FIFA said in a statement on its website (es.fifa.com).
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 chairman 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.
“The decision to set up this committee was taken after a joint FIFA and (South American) CONMEBOL mission visited AFA headquarters at the beginning of the month,” FIFA said.
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.
The order included suspending a proposed AFA election on June 30.
Meanwhile, the Argentine national team is about to play against Chile in Sunday’s Copa America Centenario final in the United States.
(Reporting by Luis Ampuero; Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Alan Baldwin)