News 27th June 2016

FIFA to oversee Argentinean FA after FIFA Council member charged

The Council of the international federation of football associations (FIFA) is to appoint a ‘normalisation committee’ to manage the Argentinean football association (AFA), after its President, Luis Segura, was charged with fraud. Segura, who is also a member of the FIFA Council, was earlier replaced by AFA Executive Secretary Damián Dupiellet on an interim basis.

‘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’, read a 24 June statement. ‘The decision to appoint a normalisation committee comes after a joint FIFA and CONMEBOL mission visited Argentina earlier this month. There will be between five and seven members of this normalisation committee, and they will be identified by a joint FIFA and CONMEBOL mission to take place soon.’

It is understood from local reports that Segura has been charged with ‘aggravated administrative fraud’, and that the charges relate to a ‘football for all’ (Fútbol para Todos – FPT) government fund, used to televise games for free. It is understood that prosecutors are investigating allegations that millions in public funds, paid into FPT in exchange for media rights to first and second division games, were misappropriated. In 2009, the Argentinean government agreed a broadcast deal with the AFA through FPT, taking over from TSC Media Group, which refused to increase its rights fee.

Last week, Federal judge María Servini de Cubría indicted three politicians who served in the cabinet of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration as well as Segura, citing irregular handling of payments relating to the FPT programme. Former Lieutenant-Governor of Buenos Aires province and ex-Director of FPT, Gabriel Mariotto, was also indicted on more serious grounds of embezzlement and diversion of public funds. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison. It is understood that the charges are not part of the wider US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigations into allegations of corruption in football.

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