While he is part of the “bubble” of the Argentine team that participates in the Copa América, Claudio Tapia, from San Juan, lives difficult hours as president of the AFA. Is that Magistrate Mariana Callegari, in charge of Civil Court No. 59, confirmed that the General Inspection of Justice must rule whether the virtual assembly held in May 2020 that re-elected Chiqui as head of the Argentine Football Association is valid. If the IGJ understands that there were irregularities, as reported by San Martín de Tucumán and Nueva Chicago, the entity would be forced to hold new elections to elect authorities for the period 2021-2025.

The decision is given after a presentation by the lawyer of the Saint from Tucumán before the aforementioned Court in which he had presented the complaint for ineffectiveness of the electoral act. The club requested the nullity of the vote due to various irregularities. The most marked is that it was called almost a year before Tapia’s term ended. For this reason, San Martín, through his lawyer, asked the Justice to wait for the “administrative instance” to be exhausted, which is in charge of the General Inspection of Justice, a body that depends on the Ministry of Justice, before issue a ruling on the matter; request that was now granted.

Due to the restrictions due to the pandemic, last year, the AFA re-elected Tapia in a virtual assembly that endorsed a single list to command the destinies of the entity until 2025. The vote, at that time, was carried out remotely having take into account the health situation of the country. The IGJ approved the holding of the conclave via Zoom, but never subsequently validated what was resolved by the assembly. Had it done so, by case, the Chicago and San Martín claims would have been out of time.

“It is likely that there will be a resolution in August,” said Ricardo Nissen, head of the General Inspection of Justice, in statements to TT Sports, on Radio Trend Topic. “We do not declare nullities like the judges, but we declare administrative irregularities. But, in turn, the issue is judicialized. Because San Martín de Tucumán, apart from going to the IGJ and requesting the irregularity of that assembly, went to the Justice and asked exactly the same thing. That is, it exhausted both ways. The law makes it clear that the IGJ cannot rule if the matter is prosecuted. What happened is that San Martín de Tucumán requested the suspension of the trial until the IGJ pronounces itself, ”he added. As indicated, Callegari accepted the request and the IGJ was left with its hands free.

It is not Tapia’s only concern. At the same time, he is zealously following the causes of alleged money laundering and fraud promoted by Deputy Graciela Ocaña, who denounced that Tapia favored friends and relatives with millionaire AFA contracts. On May 13, the Federal Police carried out an operation at the entity’s headquarters on Viamonte Street to search for all the documents of the contested contracts.

The case that draws the most attention to Justice is that of the Metro World company, the exclusive digital agent of the AFA. According to the official records of the Association, he presented a proposal on November 8 and it was accepted on November 9, without a call for bids or prior passage by the Executive Committee. But with one caveat: that company was not yet registered as such in the Legal Inspections of the Province of Buenos Aires, which only happened on November 14. There are other data that feed the suspicion that the Justice is now investigating: Metro World changed its company name just 15 days before presenting its offer to the AFA (it went from being called Metro Music and being a producer especially of musical and theatrical shows to becoming a marketing and advertising agency) and its owner is Carlos Varela, a well-known name in football since at that time he was the president of Barracas Central, a position he had arrived at after the license that Tapia requested in that position when he assumed in the AFA.

Both Tapia and Pablo Toviggino, executive secretary of the AFA, sued Ocaña for the alleged crime of libel and slander. Those close to the deputy assure that she has been gathering documentation for more than two months that promises to be explosive and would be presented in the coming days.

The effervescence occurs at a time when support for Tapia and his management is not as granite as it was at the beginning, beyond the fact that it retains the backing of the hard bloc of the “United Ascent”. Different reasons were eroding his image on the domestic front; Among them, the controversial definition of promotions in the Primera Nacional last season (San Martín turned to the TAS, dissatisfied with the format), and the unresolved controversies with the arbitrations, with suspicions centered on some decisions favorable to groups such as Barracas Central ( the platform of Tapia towards power), Miter from Santiago del Estero (whose owner is Guillermo Raed, third vice president of the AFA) or Deportivo Riestra (with the shadow of the lawyer Víctor Stinfale, a man with close ties to Chiqui), made a dent in many of those who trusted Chiqui.

There are several points indicated as “irregular” in the virtual assembly. The complaints from Chicago and San Martín suggest that the call did not detail how the representatives of the clubs should connect and that the delegates did not record having received it. At the same time, they emphasize that there are no references to absent members – something that is stipulated in article 42 of the AFA general regulations where voting is specified. And they emphasize that the vote was by acclamation after a motion by an executive and in the minutes there is no description of the modality under which the decision to vote by acclamation was adopted or the number of votes with which the vote was set. absolute majority”. All reasons that could give the IGJ tools to give up the election.

What would be the steps to follow, in the event that this happens? The entity should call an assembly to elect new authorities, while a provisional Commission would be in charge of day-to-day decisions until a legally supported Committee is anointed. And the Civil Justice, in turn, would continue with the process after the decision of the IGJ, after the pause to await its determination.

Faced with the hypothesis of a new call for elections, Tapia would be knocked out. It is worth noting that he was never well seen by the national government, since its components associate his coming to power with his alliance with Daniel Angelici and with the approval of the then president of the Nation Mauricio Macri. With their support, the Super League was born, which was extinguished a year ago to allow the birth of the Professional League, which also brings together First-class clubs, but within the scope of the AFA, as an appendix.

The League is presided over by Marcelo Tinelli, the main candidate to sit in the Viamonte chair if there are elections. There are those who also point to Nicolás Russo, president of Lanús and a man close to Sergio Massa, beyond the fact that he wants to play politically in his jurisdiction. And Juan Sebastián Verón, reference of Estudiantes de La Plata and with the possible push of the players? “We must not rule out a cover,” they warned Infobae from the AFA. It is that national politics, inevitably, will also play its game. And the leaders hardly get involved in an electoral dispute like the one that led to the fateful 38-38: if there were elections, the new president would come out by “consensus”.

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