CONMEBOL announces anti-graft overhaul

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 14 (IANS) The interim president of the South American football confederation CONMEBOL has set up an independent commission charged with ridding the body of endemic corruption.

Wilmar Valdez assumed Conmebol’s presidency on Friday after the resignation of Juan Angel Napout, who has been indicted by the US Justice Department on graft charges, reports Xinhua.

Among the Uruguayan’s first steps has been to appoint auditor Daniel Elicetche to head a commission whose mission will be to adopt new “transparency and control measures”, according to a CONMEBOL statement on Sunday.

Contracts set to face scrutiny include broadcast rights for the Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition, which were renewed last month.

Valdez told reporters that cost cutting had already begun, promising an “austere and sober” 2016 Copa Libertadores draw on December 22.

In addition to the anti-graft commission, CONMEBOL is establishing a working group tasked with overhauling the entity’s statute. The committee will comprise representatives from each of CONMEBOL’s 10 federations.

Valdez will remain the body’s president until January 26, when an election will decide who fills the role permanently.

Several of CONMEBOL’s top officials are under arrest as part of the US-led probe into corruption in football. Apart from Napout, they include vice-president Rafael Esquivel (Venezuela), secretary general Jose Luis Meiszner (Argentina) and treasurer Carlos Chavez (Bolivia).

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