16th February 2018

CONMEBOL warns it may quit Paraguay HQ after the latest legal defeat

South American football confederation CONMEBOL is threatening to move its headquarters out of Paraguay after losing a breach of contract court caseThe row dated back to an agreement undertaken under the presidency of veteran former FIFA executive member Nicolas Leoz who is currently contesting an extradition application from the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in connection with the FIFAGate corruption case.

After the FIFAGate scandal exploded into the public domain the Paraguayan government withdrew an order of diplomatic immunity for the CONMEBOL offices. Broadcaster and journalist Ismael Pintos Ramirez has won a US$10 million award against CONMEBOL for non-payment of sums agreed to produce a television programme entitled The World of CONMEBOL, which was broadcast on an Argentinian channel.

Originally Pintos launched his lawsuit in Brazil, where he lives, but courts there directed that the case be heard in Paraguay. CONMEBOL took its concerns direct to the President of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, at a meeting involving current CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez, Legal Director Monserrat Jiménez, and Sports Minister Víctor Pecci.

Dominguez’s delegation presented letters of concern from all 10 member associations of CONMEBOL. Robert Harrison, President of the Paraguayan FA, warned after the meeting that CONMEBOL might choose to leave Paraguay because of a lack of legal and diplomatic protection. The convention within South American football is that the offices of the confederation and its Presidency should never rest with either of its two major powers, Brazil or Argentina.

• This article was published on Keir Radnedge’s internet site on 16 February 2018. Click here for the original.

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