Alonso re-elected to presidency of Uruguayan FA, after challenger Ferrari controversially stands down

February 17 – Ignacio Alonso has been re-elected for another four-year term to lead the Uruguayan FA (AUF).

Running unopposed, Alonso (pictured), a FIFA council member, won his second mandate after getting 51 out of the total 76 votes in the AUF Congress.

He had support from top flight clubs Nacional, Boston River, Deportivo Maldonado, La Luz, Plaza Colonia, Racing and Montevideo City Torque as well as Albion, Atenas de San Carlos, Cerrito, Miramar Misiones, Oriental de La Paz, Rentistas, Sud América and Tacuarembó in the first division. Rampla Juniors didn’t vote for Alonso, once the club’s president.

The election was not without controversy. A member of the AUF executive committee, Pablo Ferrari, ultimately did not stand in the elections after the South American confederation Conmebol notified him that he would not be eligible if he did not resign from his position as senior official at the national sports secretariat.

Alonso tweeted that Ferrari was welcome to contest the elections but that he had to stand down from his public role because the national sports secretariat has influence over AUF. Ferrari was backed by Penarol, one of the two Montevideo giants, leaving the club’s president Ignacio Rulio dissatisfied. On Whatsapp, he spoke of ‘nepotism’.

Penarol’s representative at the congress Gonzalo Moratorio said: “How pride and money corrupt power is impressive. Even if the henchmen tell you otherwise, not even 100 press releases will be able to distort the erratic, dishonest and cowardly image that you generated. Not everything is allowed and time will make this right.”

Fifteen clubs moved to suspend the election in court, but the judge allowed the elections to take place. Penarol did not vote for Alonso. Neither did women’s football back Alonso.

In his new term Alonso’s main challenges will be to negotiate a new TV rights deal when the current contract runs out in 2025, move the 2030 World Cup bid forward and appoint a new technical staff after the World Cup debacle.

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