Argentinian football union linked to misappropriation of funds

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Buenos Aires, Sep 8 (IANS) Former Argentinian deputy Graciela Ocana has expanded her accusation against the Argentine Football Association (AFA) for irregularities in the management of public funds and has also linked the union that represents soccer players in her claims.

The Argentinian Soccer Players Union (FAA) would have received between $10 million and $12 million of funds from the AFA that correspond to the funds destined for the program “Soccer for Everyone”, according to Ocana, as cited by local television on Monday, reports Xinhua.

“It is not understood why a union such as the FAA was supposed to receive these funds. There is a clear fraud being carried out on public funds,” said Ocana, 54, on local television.

Officially, the FAA is supposed to “improve the quality of the lives of the soccer players and their families by promoting the comprehensive development of the individual,” according to Ocana. It has nothing to do with the “Soccer for Everyone” program.

A few months ago, Ocana reported alleged irregularities in the program which has broadcast live soccer via open (non-subscription) television since 2009.

There is evidence of a random increase in the program’s budget from the AFA, said Ocana adding that there is suspicion that the clubs never received these funds.

Federal judge Maria Servini de Cubria designated three observers to the case in June to carry out a report on how finances within the AFA are being managed.

The program “Soccer for Everyone” began in August 2009 when Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government ordered that Argentina’s First and Second Division matches should be broadcast live and free on open television.

From 2009, Argentina has paid more than 600 million U.S. dollars in rights to the AFA so that they can broadcast the matches free however, despite this, many of the clubs are on the verge of a serious economic crisis.

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