Nepotism has Argentine football in hand


The passage of Mauro Zárate from the Vélez Sarsfield youth club to the big club Boca Juniors was a difficult year for Argentine football. For the case had all that currently characterizes the football of Argentina: nepotism, chaos, dark machinations and Zoff between clubs and "Asociación del Fútbol Argentino", short AFA.

Zárate, then top scorer of the Argentine Super League, Vélez had sworn on his return from England an eternal fidelity and presented a signature contract with a view to its renewal. But overnight, he saw his mind again and signed with Boca.

Decisive was the following to better pay a promise that should not weigh in money for Argentine footballers. Boca's president, Daniel Angelici, apparently reportedly promised Zárate to open the door to "Albiceleste", the Argentine national team. Angelici is not only the first vice president of AFA, but also the intimus of the head of the association Claudio Tapia. Zárate, the agreement was to be nominated for the first time this summer at Copa America for the national team.

"Typical of our football"

The alleged insurance made at the time by the management of the club Vélez to the public. All the other parties denied that the promise ever existed. But the sports journalist and connoisseur of the association and the national team, Luciano Olivero, is convinced of the existence of such a promise: "This is typical of our football ", did he declare. The influence of officials on the national team is a well-known evil.

So, when Germany meets Argentina in the evening (20:45, Liveticker Grouvy Sport, TV: RTL), the South American country's football is not only in a phase of sports identification, but also in an institutional crisis. World footballer Lionel Messi is missing in Dortmund due to a ban imposed on him by the South American football federation Conmebol. After losing 0-2 to Brazil in the semifinals of Copa America, Messi accused the match of being manipulated.

Luciano Olivero can only shake his head. "Especially in Argentina, corruption is a basic component of society and football". Olivero remembers that as early as 1948, the oldest football association in Latin America had bought referees in England because their whistles were so partisan that it was almost impossible to operate from regular way. "Today, AFA is experiencing the deepest credibility crisis since its inception," Olivero said. The era of the long-corrupted president, Julio Grondona, still works.

The little and the sun king

The leader of the federation, Tapia, is perhaps also the bad man for radical changes. The former street sweeper at the rookie hairstyle, "El Chiqui", the little boy, was still built by the Grondona association and is the first regular president after his death in July 2014. "All that I'm in football, I owe it to Julio Grondona, "said Tapia.


Head of the Argentine Football Federation: Claudio Tapia


RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP

Head of the Argentine Football Federation: Claudio Tapia

Grondona, installed in 1979 as a favorite of the military dictatorship as leader of the federation, has led AFA over three decades in the manner of a sun king. Since 1998 he was also CFO of the World Federation Fifa. In 2011, Argentine justice investigated "Don Julio" for allegations of money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. During the trial for the Fifa scandal in New York, witnesses accused him of accepting bribes "coimas" for the awarding of football world cups.

For Tapia, no major scandal is known, says Gustavo Grabia, expert and author on corruption, violence and political influence in Argentine football. But the style of leadership is similar, says Grabia the Grouvy Sport. So, Tapia continues to fly with private planes instead of line. There is a lack of organization and competent people. Many officials have turned their backs on the association, adds Luciano Olivero. Club bosses resigned in protest at accusing AFA of favoring big clubs, Boca and River Plate. The federation does not control violence in stadiums, arbitration services are clandestine and the influence of politics is uninterrupted. "These are the big and powerful clubs whose presidents are particularly close to power," says Grabia. That's why they have advantages. It goes from first to third league.

A helpless coach

Football and politics enter into such a close alliance in a country barely comparable to that of Argentina. President Mauricio Macri was president of Boca Juniors from 1995 to 2007. Politicians and trade unionists use club bosses, help finance and use "barras bravas", groups of criminal supporters of clubs, for political demonstrations.

On the sporting side, however, the AFA has no concept for the promotion of young talents, and around the national team, great coaches such as Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham), Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate) and Diego Simeone (Atlético Madrid) have shown great support, said Grabia. Gallardo retired for "political reasons" as the president of River was crossing with AFA. Simeone refuses to take albiceleste while Messi is playing.

The president of the association, Tapia, maintains very close relations with the FC Barcelona striker, according to the author Grabia. As a result, an inexperienced coach like Lionel Scaloni is engaged. President Tapia and Messi have little desire for a strong coach with great power. After all, the world footballer likes to decide himself who stands next to him in blue sky and white on the field.