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SPORTS | 22-08-2018 14:07

FIFA takes control of Uruguay FA, casting shadow over World Cup bid

The intervention follows the AUF's president, Wilmar Valdez, quitting a day before he was to stand for re-election last month. The vote was put on hold.

FIFA has taken temporary control of the Uruguayan Football Association because of governance concerns as the country campaigns with Argentina and Paraguay to host the 2030 World Cup.

FIFA said officials decided Tuesday to appoint a "normalisation committee" that will run the federation, known as the Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol (AUF), until February 28, 2019.

The intervention follows the AUF's president, Wilmar Valdez, quitting a day before he was to stand for re-election last month. The vote was put on hold.

FIFA says the electoral process "is not in accordance with the requirements of transparency as outlined in the FIFA and CONMEBOL statutes."

Uruguay stepped up its campaign to host the centenary World Cup in South America in 2030 by holding events in Moscow during this year's tournament. Its offer is part of a three-way hosting bid alongside Argentina and Paraguay.

FIFA has yet to outline the formal bidding process for the 2030 tournament.

The postponement of the AUF vote came amid a corruption probe. Authorities are investigating whether there are recordings of Valdez discussing bribes to soccer executives and government officials during the purchase of lighting and security cameras for Uruguay's stadiums.

The 53-year-old Valdez became the AUF's president in 2014 after his predecessor Sebastián Bauza resigned.

Valdez' temporary substitute is Edgar Welker, who accused FIFA of making the decision based in imprecise information given by CONMEBOL, the South American soccer body.

The AUF is expected to decide soon whether it will extend the contract of iconic coach Óscar Tabárez, who has led the national team for 12 years, taking it to three straight World Cups. He also lifted the 2011 Copa América for the Celeste.

Tabárez is not expected to be on the bench on September 7 when Uruguay faces Mexico in Houston.

- AP

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