Uruguayan clubs urge action after FIFA takes over federation

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Montevideo, Aug 27 (IANS) Five first division clubs — Defensor, Danubio, Liverpool, River Plate and Wanderers — have called for an “urgent change” in Uruguayan football, although they rejected the intervention of FIFA in the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) announced on August 21.

“We want an urgent change in Uruguayan football. The current situation is of great concern,” the five clubs said on Sunday, adding that they share the vision about the “training divisions” and “independence” regarding the national and foreign economic powers who have “controlled” the local environment “over the past 20 years”.

The five clubs thus defended their decision not to vote last Friday for a new statute for Uruguayan soccer, as requested by FIFA and the South American football federation (Conmebol) to halt the intervention, which now is anticipated to last until February 2019, reports Efe news agency.

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According to the teams, the statute proposal voted last Friday — and which was rejected in an 8-9 vote — was aimed at maintaining the prevailing Executive AUF authorities.

The teams say that the basis on which FIFA and Conmebol justified their intervention in the AUF “does not conform to the law or the reality of the election process.”

This latter comment was made regarding the impossibility of voting on the AUF president, a process that failed after the resignation of Wilmar Valdez and the later exclusion by Conmebol of the only remaining candidates: Arturo Del Campo and Eduardo Abulafia.

Valdez dropped his re-election bid after audio recordings were leaked in July on which he was heard criticising government officials.

In all, nine clubs voted against changing the statute last Friday, the abovementioned five along with Boston River, Cerro, Progreso and Racing.

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Voting in favour were Atenas, El Tanque Sisley, Fenix, Nacional, Peñarol, Rampla Juniors, Torque and the second division clubs, all of which are combined into a single vote.

Uruguay’s government last Wednesday rejected FIFA’s decision to temporarily take control of the AUF in the wake of that body’s failure to hold elections and select a new president.

Education and Culture Minister Maria Julia Munoz, who oversees all civilian associations in the South American country, said it was unacceptable for foreign bodies to interfere in the regulation and management of domestic entities.

–IANS

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