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SPORTS | 21-05-2020 23:33

Claudio Tapia re-elected as AFA president for another term

Media mogul Marcelo Tinelli, who also serves as president of San Lorenzo, elected director of the new Liga de Fútbol Profesional, which will replace the Superliga.

Claudio 'Chiqui' Tapia has won re-election for a new term as president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), the local game's governing body.

In a farewell to the Superliga, Argentina's top flight, AFA officials also voted to approve the set up of the new Liga de Fútbol Profesional, its replacement, a move that reinforces the body's control over top-flight football in Argentina.

Entertainer, politician and media mogul Marcelo Tinelli – who also serves as president of the San Lorenzo football club – was also elected director of the new league.

The decisions were made Tuesday, via a videoconference meeting led by AFA officials. Members voted for Tapia, who began his term as AFA president in March 2017, to have his mandate extended until March 2025. He was the only candidate for the post.

The creation of the new Liga de Fútbol Profesional is a reaction to the dissolution, at the behest of top-flight clubs, of the Superliga Argentina (SAF), which was only set up in 2020 as part of a move to loosen AFA's control of the national game. On Tuesday, clubs voted to shift the season's schedule from January to December, suiting the schedule of CONMEBOL's flagship tournaments, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana.

Clubs also voted to remove relegation for the next two years, a move that will see the top division eventually rise to 28 teams.

Tapia will have six vice presidents, including Rodolfo D'Onofrio (River) and Marcelo Tinelli (San Lorenzo), Jorge Amor Ameal (Boca) and Hugo Moyano (Independiente), representing four of Argentina's most popular clubs.

"We had to rebuild AFA. Everyone knew in what conditions we find this house, in a difficult economic situation, and I want to thank all the members of the Executive Committee, each employee of the AFA and each coach of the selected ones," said Tapia.

Tinelli said that it was a source of "great pride" to lead the new Liga de Fútbol Profesional, describing it as "a huge challenge."

"We must work to offer more attractive encounters and dynamic tournaments. Argentine football must recover the privileged place that it had and that made it a world power," he added.

The new top division will hold the rights and obligations that the Superliga had, but in a major shift, it will no longer be a totally independent entity, meaning each contract or expense must be approved by Tapia or AFA's executive committee.

Behind the scenes, the new league will allow Tapia to exercise greater control over the nation's clubs. The election of D'Onofrio is also significant, as it returns a River official to a key position after years in which many considered the club to have distanced itself from AFA.

– TIMES/AFP

 

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