Argentine FA chief, FIFA executive Grondona dies

Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:51pm EDT
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By Luis Ampuero

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine Football Association president Julio Humberto Grondona died in hospital on Wednesday at the age of 82, South American soccer's governing body CONMEBOL said.

Grondona, who became AFA chief in 1979 during the former military dictatorship and was senior vice-president of world soccer's governing body FIFA, died at the Mitre Sanatorium in Buenos Aires after suffering an aortic aneurysm.

He was rushed to hospital early on Wednesday but died shortly after midday before doctors could carry out surgery.

"Julio Humberto Grondona has died, one of this continent's most distinguished directors of recent times in the management of the Argentine Football Association," CONMEBOL said.

In a statement it sent its condolences to Grondona's family and everyone involved in Argentine football.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter wrote on Twitter: "Very sad at the loss of a great friend. Julio Grondona has left us at 82 years of age. Today I embrace his family. Rest in peace."

AFA vice-president Luis Segura has taken charge of the Argentine game's governing body and reports said the start of the league season scheduled for this weekend could be postponed.

"This is something very painful regardless of the differences one might have had (with him)," former Argentina coach Cesar Luis Menotti, to whom Grondona gave a new deal after his team's World Cup victory in 1978, told broadcaster TyC Sports.   Continued...