Argentine FA election scuppered by rogue ballot
The Argentine Football Association’s (AFA) bid to hold a democratic election for the first time in 36 years ended in farce on Thursday when organisers discovered an extra vote among the 75 cast by the assembly.
The vote between interim AFA president Luis Segura and entrepreneur and television personality Marcelo Tinelli was postponed with no new date set after organisers found an extra ballot had been cast for a 38-38 tie.
The scuppered vote is another embarrassment for football in the region after soccer bosses from across South and Central America were among 16 people charged on Thursday with multimillion-dollar bribery schemes.
Argentine nationals Jose Luis Meiszner and Eduardo Deluca, current and former secretary generals of South America’s confederation (Conmebol), were among those charged.
Segura took over as president when Julio Grondona, who ruled the AFA since taking office in 1979, died last year. Grondona was a former Fifa vice president and an ally of president Sepp Blatter.
He was also close to Paraguay’s Nicolas Leoz, who is among the officials charged in the Fifa investigation.
Segura suggested that he and Tinelli, who ran on a platform of ousting the old “grondonista” order, could try to find some common ground and stand together.
“We will call a new election if it has to be done (but) we will try to follow a path that maybe this error was a message for all of us to analyse forming one common ticket,” he told the assembly.
“If that doesn’t work we’ll call (another) election. This is disconcerting and even embarrassing.”
Immediately after the botched vote, several officials at the AFA assembly offered suggestions on how to proceed with some calling for the matter to be decided by a show of hands.
This did not sit well with those looking for a complete break from the period ruled by Grondona, who was voted back into power eight times unopposed by a show of hands.