What was Julio Grondona’s plan for Mexico to join Conmebol

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Julio Grondona left an indelible legacy within Argentine soccer (Photo: Tony Gomez)
Julio Grondona left an indelible legacy within Argentine soccer (Photo: Tony Gomez)

Julio Grondona He is remembered as one of the most controversial leaders of Argentine soccer and within Conmebol. Alberto de la Torre, who was president of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) and the protagonist of these meetings, spoke to ESPN time ago and the information that he contributed to the sports network was now corroborated by the same medium with different former presidents of the FMF, of the First Division and executives of the Concacaf.

According to de la Torre, negotiations could take place between Grondona and the president of Conmebol so that the Tricolor will be part of the South American organization.

“They really want Mexico as a participant, from the qualifying rounds for the World Cup, to keeping us in the Copa América and Copa Libertadores. Everything they reported is true, he (Grondona) convinced FIFA, and everyone at Conmebol wanted us to play with them, ”said the former Mexican manager.

Alberto de la Torre He also pointed out that “they not only wanted Mexico in Conmebol, but all of North America,” he said.

Julio Grondona remained at the head of the Argentine Football Association for 35 years (FotoBaires)
Julio Grondona remained at the head of the Argentine Football Association for 35 years (FotoBaires)

“He (Grondona) felt it was like enlarging his empire. They knew that affiliated with them we will present very competitive clubs and teams, with a high rating among sponsors and television stations. It was a win-win for everyone ”.

“Only some team owners, the strongest in Mexican soccer, and almost everyone agreed. I’m not going to tell you who is, who is not ”.

“The few who did not agree, it was because of their concern with the company that owned those clubs, a television station. They knew that these broadcasting rights would be very complicated, “said de la Torre.

“Grondona’s power was great. He got what he wanted, and FIFA gave him the go-ahead. A few hours later, Joseph Blatter told him no, ”the owners of Liga MX teams agreed. However, Alberto stressed that the Concacaf He opposed.

The Argentine leader had a lot of power within FIFA due to his closeness to Josep Blatter, former FIFA president (FotoBaires)
The Argentine leader had a lot of power within FIFA due to his closeness to Josep Blatter, former FIFA president (FotoBaires)

“Let’s remember that Concacaf has had and has a lot of weight within FIFA,” he added.

The former Mexican manager stressed that Guillermo Cañedo White He was one of the directors of Mexican soccer at that time who firmly opposed the change of confederation due to his attempt to strengthen Concacaf.

“Guillermo Cañedo White, remember that he wanted to strengthen himself in Concacaf and be president.”

Later, de la Torre mentioned that Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer set up a counter offensive by Concacaf to bring those responsible for the area to the waist for wanting to make the change.

Jack Warner was president of Concacaf from 1990 to 2011. He was accused by the United States of electronic fraud, organized crime and money laundering (Photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP)
Jack Warner was president of Concacaf from 1990 to 2011. He was accused by the United States of electronic fraud, organized crime and money laundering (Photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP)

“The happy compadres (as they were called in Concacaf), understood that, without Mexico, and perhaps the United States, they would die of hunger, and they were not going to allow it,” said another of the Mexican soccer leaders who requested anonymity to ESPN.

If the change were to take place, different factors would have harmed the Concacaf that would lead them to try to make the area survive without the force that Mexico and USA they inject him.

1. If Mexico and the United States joined South America, Conmebol would receive two more passes to the World Cup and Concacaf would have those places withdrawn.

2. Mexico is the main promoter of animation in Concacaf tournaments and has become the main financial source in the area.

3. Mexico has allowed the creation of large contracts with television stations and sponsorships.

4. Concacaf would have to withdraw its luxurious New York offices and bring them to Central America.

Chuck Blazer was FIFA Secretary General from 1996 to 2013. He was accused of massive fraud during his time at Concacaf (Photo: AFP)
Chuck Blazer was FIFA Secretary General from 1996 to 2013. He was accused of massive fraud during his time at Concacaf (Photo: AFP)

“Yes, it was regrettable to lose that opportunity, because they invited us and the negotiations were going very well,” he recalled. “Yayo” de la Torre.

In the end, the FIFA It also ended up being recommended, by institutional health and by “the football unit”, that the order not be altered.

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