Argentina will not withdraw from Copa America
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The head of the Argentine Football Association said Tuesday that the national team will play at the Copa America in the United States as planned, dismissing reports that it might withdraw.
AFA President Luis Segura was responding to Argentine media reports that the team might pull out of the 16-team tournament as a protest against the national government, which is trying to assert control over the AFA.
“I’m not going to resign and the national team will not depart from the United States,” Segura said.
Argentina opens against Chile on Monday in Santa Clara, California.
The Argentine justice ministry stepped in on Monday and suspended an AFA presidential election set for June 30, citing “administrative irregularities.”
FIFA, world soccer’s ruling body, generally opposes government meddling in football politics.
In a statement Tuesday, FIFA said only that it was “monitoring closely the matter related to AFA.”
Segura said he had no plans to notify FIFA officially about the government’s intervention.
“AFA is unhampered, and we don’t want anyone kicking us out of FIFA,” he said.
AFA has been battling a power vacuum since the death two years ago of Julio Grondona. A long-time head of AFA, Grondona was also a senior vice president of FIFA and a close ally of Joseph Blatter, the disgraced former president of FIFA.