Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Argentine football chief dies

30 July 2014, 21:48

Buenos Aires - Julio Grondona, the veteran president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) and FIFA vice-president, died on Wednesday at the age of 82 in a Buenos Aires clinic, AFA sources have reported.

The all-powerful figure, who had been in charge of Argentine football since 1979, had been taken to hospital suffering from heart problems and died while undergoing emergency surgery.

Earlier this week he had held meetings with Alejandro Sabella, who decided not to continue as Argentina coach after leading the team to the World Cup final in Brazil recently.

Grondona had been a FIFA Executive member since 1988, heading its finance committee, and was appointed to the head of AFA nine years earlier by the country's military government.

He had been successfully re-elected to continue governing football in the South American nation every four years since 1979, enjoying the unconditional support of the country's 22,000 clubs.

His time in charge saw Argentina win the World Cup in Mexico in 1986, the Copa America in 1991 and 1993 and Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008, while in his earlier years he founded Arsenal, a club from the Buenos Aires suburb of Sarandi who emerged recently as a force at the top level.

But his FIFA links have brought regular accusations of scandal.

He was recently accused by opponents of President Cristina Kirchner of diverting millions of dollars of government finance to the AFA in return for television rights.

Before the last AFA election in 2011, Carlos Avila, a former associate of Grondona and owner of the TyC Sports television channel, alleged that the association president had 12 undeclared bank accounts in Europe and the United States.

"You want to know what I think of Grondona? OK, Grondona is the 'puntero' (informal military chief) for FIFA," Avila said at the time calling for an investigation.

"It is public knowledge that Julio has an absolute power over the management of football. He has always based it on the poverty of (Argentinian) clubs," he added.

During the recent World Cup, the AFA was allegedly involved in an international scandal over the illegal sale of VIP hospitality tickets which was investigated by Brazilian police.

One ticket found to be illegally sold was in the name of Humberto Grondona, son of the AFA president. The son denied involvement in illegal activities though he admits selling the ticket to a friend. The ticket is not part of the Brazilian investigation.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...