Remember how earlier this week we were all terrified about the possibility of having the Argentine Football Association (AFA) kicked out of FIFA, thus barring the national team and all clubs from international competitions? Well, it looks like that’s not going to happen after all, so we can go back to crying over Messi quitting the national team in peace.
Federal Judge María Servini de Cubría — who’s currently investigating high-ranking AFA officials on embezzlement charges — ultimately allowed FIFA to follow through with its decision to remove AFA President Luis Segura from his post and appoint a so-called “normalizing committee” to administer the association until new elections are held to appoint a new president.
On Monday, Servini de Cubría had deemed FIFA’s intervention to be an intrusion that could interfere with her investigation, and consequently ordered that AFA not abide by it. Had she not changed her mind, FIFA could have determined that AFA was experiencing a non-sports-related intervention — something forbidden by FIFA’s statute — and kicked it out of the international association. Imagining the chaos that would’ve ensued is already frightening enough.
In a written statement she sent to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Servini de Cubría assured she had FIFA’s rules in mind at all times. She also summoned officials from FIFA, AFA and the Macri administration to decide on how FIFA’s “normalizing committee” could be formed in a way that made everyone happy.
“It was never the judge’s will to displace the authorities that will be appointed to administer AFA according to your institution’s statute,” reads a passage in the statement.
Even though FIFA has insisted on only having football-related officials on the committee, Servini de Cubría has maintained that, considering the importance of her investigation, there should be someone she trusts on the committee that will administer AFA and call for elections once things go back to normal.
However, there’s still a small issue that needs to be figured out before we can all go back to being happy. Primo Corvaro, FIFA’s official in charge of forming the committee, said it will take him between 15 and 30 days to complete his task. But AFA President Luis Segura is stepping down from his post on Thursday.
FIFA had reportedly considered to fill the Segura’s role with AFA Secretary General Damián Dupiellet while the committee is formed, but Servini de Cubría blocked the appointment, threatening to leave the association without a leader for the time being. Why? Dupiellet is also a national judge, and she argued that the immunity his post grants him would make it more difficult to carry out her investigation.