Conmebol had been run as ‘personal fiefdom’: Dominguez

Buenos Aires, Aug 25 (IANS) South American football’s governing body Conmebol’s president Alejandro Dominguez has ordered an audit after discovering it had been run like a “personal fiefdom” and not been held accountable in the past years.

The Paraguayan official was elected Conmebol’s chief in January to replace its interim president, Uruguay’s Wilmar Valdez.

“We want justice to be served because we understand that South American football was the biggest victim of this problem. The most important thing in Conmebol was money, and football was a means to an end. The commitment we assumed was to return Conmebol’s focus to football,” Alejandro Dominguez said on Wednesday, reports Efe.

Dominguez announced his decision at a press conference here in which he took stock of his first six months in office.

Less than two months prior to the start of Dominguez’s tenure, Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, who was Conmebol’s president from August 2014 to December 2015, was arrested and indicted as part of a corruption case for allegedly accepting bribes linked to the sale of marketing rights.

“Upon taking office we realised we were entering an unorganised structure, something I’d identify as a personal fiefdom; I’d even say it was a personal business. A structure that was managed at the discretion of certain people and which was never held to account,” Dominguez said.

Paraguay’s Nicolas Leoz and Uruguay’s Eugenio Figueredo, who held the top post at Conmebol between 1986-2013 and 2013-2014, respectively, are also under investigation by American officials.

“In Conmebol we found an institution that had diplomatic immunity and impunity. At the Conmebol building there are no documents prior to 2013. We didn’t find balance sheets or accounting reports. All the figures we found were questionable or incomplete,” Dominguez said.

The Conmebol chief said “more than 20,000 documents were being investigated”.

–IANS

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