The Argentine Football Association has failed in its bid to elect a new president. The election was declared invalid after more votes were cast than there were eligible voters.
Organizers of the election to elect a replacement for the late president, Julio Grondona, declared the vote invalid late on Thursday, after finding that a total of 76 votes had been cast by the 75 eligible voters. The outcome was a 38-38 tie between the AFA's interim president, Luis Segura and television presenter Marcelo Tinelli (pictured above). There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.
Segura took over as president on an interim basis after Grondona, who had ruled the AFA since taking office in 1979, passed away last year.
Grondona was a former FIFA vice president and an ally of the world governing body's suspended president, Sepp Blatter. He was also a close associate of Paraguay's Nicolas Leoz, who is among the officials charged in the ongoing investigation into corruption at FIFA.
Joint presidential bid?
After the failed election,Segura suggested that he and Tinelli, who ran on a platform of ousting the old "grondonista" order, could try to run together in a future vote.
"We will call a new election if it has to be done (but) we will try to follow a path that maybe this error was a message for all of us to analyze forming one common ticket," he said.
"If that doesn't work we'll call (another) election. This is disconcerting and even embarrassing."
Show of hands doesn't cut it
Immediately after the farcical vote, some AFA officials called for the matter to be decided by a show of hands, but this failed to win over those looking to break with the Grondona period. This is the method by which he was re-elected unopposed eight times.
Thursday's failed election was just another embarrassment for football in the country, coming on the same day that two Argentine nationals, Jose Luis Meiszner, the general secretary of South America's soccer federation CONMEBOL, and his predecessor, Eduardo Deluca, wereindicted on corruption allegations.
pfd/ng (Reuters, dpa)