Asuncion - South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL
looks to clean its image by choosing a new president Tuesday, as three of its
former heads face US indictments in the FIFA corruption scandal.
After being searched this month by investigators probing
alleged bribes, CONMEBOL's headquarters in Paraguay now hosts football chiefs
from 10 countries who will choose a new leader and decide who to back for FIFA
Senior figures said there was a consensus to elect as new
CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez, a 44-year-old businessman and current
head of Paraguay's football federation.
The South American bloc is meanwhile expected to back
Swiss-Italian Gianno Infantino to succeed the suspended Joseph Blatter as
president of world football's governing body FIFA.
The South American Football Confederation's last president
Miguel Angel Napout, also a Paraguayan, was one of 16 Latin American officials
indicted by US authorities last month.
Among the others were another Paraguayan former CONMEBOL head,
Nicolas Leoz, 87, and its Uruguayan ex-president Eugenio Figueredo, 83.
Leoz is under house arrest in Paraguay and Figueredo is in
jail in Uruguay.
Both face requests for extradition on allegations of bribery
and money-laundering by US authorities which are investigating the scandal.
Also read: Chilean soccer association president takes medical leave
Napout is under house arrest in New York.
The suspects are accused of accepting millions of dollars in
bribes in return for awarding broadcasting and commercial contracts for
The scandal over allegations of multimillion-dollar bribes
has led to the suspension of numerous top officials including Blatter, FIFA's
- 'Transparency' in football -
CONMEBOL's interim president, Wilmar Valdez of Uruguay, said
there was a consensus to elect Dominguez as president.
Valdez himself stepped out of the running at the last
minute, saying a consensus was needed to launch a new cleaner era for CONMEBOL.
"There must be a before and an after with all that has
happened," he said.
He called for "the implementation of transparency and
oversight measures that guarantee the efficient and rigorous
administration" of CONMEBOL.
The confederation is the umbrella group for 10 South
American football associations.
Its headquarters had diplomatic immunity from 1992 but that
privilege was withdrawn last year after the scandal erupted.
Another CONMEBOL source told AFP the body would back
Infantino when FIFA chooses a new president in Zurich on February 26.
The acting head of European federation UEFA, Infantino also
has the support of UEFA's executive committee.
He faces competition in his run for the FIFA presidency from
Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, who has the likely backing of African countries for
Another FIFA candidate is Prince Ali of Jordan, who like
Infantino will be present at the CONMEBOL congress on Tuesday. It is due to
start at 1300 GMT.For
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