PtG Article 03.05.2012

CONMEBOL defies reforms and appoints Leoz ‘president for life’

While pressure is on FIFA to strengthen transparency and democracy in world football, the South American football confederation CONMEBOL goes in the opposite direction by appointing Nicolas Leoz ‘president for life’.

Paraguayan Leoz, 83, has been the leader of CONMEBOL and a member of FIFA’s executive committee since 1986. He is one of the FIFA executives accused of receiving illicit payments from FIFA’s former marketing partner, ISL. 

The appointment as ‘president for life’ means that Leoz can remain president until he decides himself to step down or until his death. The step is a gesture of defiance against would-be reformers within FIFA including governance expert Mark Pieth, writes Keir Radnedge.

Leoz himself stated: “The contract was signed recently in Santa Cruz. I have been appointed president for life. I owe a lot to the national associations in South America. We have grown CONMEBOL enormously and this could not have been achieved without all their support.”

SOURCE: Keir Radnedge 

For more information on Nicolas Leoz read Ezequiel Fernández Moores' presentation from Play the Game 2011 on the 'old men' of South American football: The Ball Remains the Same - Leoz, Grondona and Teixeira's 91-Year-Reign

Read also Jens Sejer Andersen's comment on FIFA reforms: Pieth’s prudent paper and Blatter’s play for time