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AFA President Says Argentina Will Not Be Forced To Withdraw From Copa America

Luis Segura, head of the Argentinian Football Association, has said that Argentina will not be forced to miss the Copa America after reports of government interference threatened their participation.

Argentina will play in the Copa America Centenario despite earlier claims that a government investigation could cause the AFA to pull out of the competition. In a press conference on Tuesday following an emergency meeting of the AFA executive board, president Luis Segura said there was no possibility of Argentina being forced to miss the tournament.

Copa America Centenario

AFA president Luis Segura has promised that Argentina will not be forced to miss the Copa America. Photo: @HumoDePrimeraTM | Twitter

The AFA presidential election was suspended for 90 days by the Argentine government because of a suspected misappropriation of television revenue that prompted the government to open an investigation. The television revenue in question is from the program "Futbol Para Todos," which was overseen by the Argentinian government under former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Due to this interaction by the government, there is a fear that FIFA could suspend Argentina from the competition, much as they did with Nigeria and Cameroon in the past. 

But Sergio Brodsky, who is the head of Argentina's Corporate Record's Office, moved to quell those fears, per ESPN FC, saying that the AFA had followed all FIFA statutes in order to avoid a suspension. 

Copa America Centenario

The Argentina National Team is currently in California training for their opening match against Chile. They could be forced to return if the AFA votes to remove them. Photo: @BluBucaramanga | Twitter

FIFA is allowed to intervene when it is perceived that a government is trying to interfere in the running of an association. Since this is merely an investigation, and the Argentine government is not trying to exercise direct control, and there should be no need for a suspension. However, the AFA can still vote to remove Argentina from the tournament if they feel the government has overstepped its boundaries, but that would undoubtedly be a hugely controversial decision. For now, we'll just have to wait and see, but Segura's comments seem to suggest that they will not. 

Argentina will open up their Copa America campaign against holders Chile on Monday, June 6. 

Follow me on Twitter @J_Hansen_89   

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