Tribunal rules new Chile FA chief appointment invalid

SANTIAGO (Reuters) -- A tribunal has ruled Chile's newly elected soccer association (ANFP) chief Jorge Segovia cannot take office, which could open the door for a return of popular national team coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The "Tribunal of Honour" ratified a recent ANFP decision that Spanish-born Segovia, who won the soccer body's presidential election on Nov. 4, could not take office in January because of commercial links between his businesses and his club, Union Espanola.

Bielsa, who steered Chile to their first World Cup finals since 1998 this year, resigned as a result of Segovia's victory over Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the man who recruited him in 2007.

"It is necessary to conclude that Mr. Segovia did not comply with the requisites to be a candidate to the ANFP presidency, so the list he was a part of, and the election itself, are null and void," the tribunal said on the ANFP website (

The tribunal called for a new election before Jan. 15, the date on which the new ANFP president was due to take office.

Chilean media said Bielsa might reconsider his decision to quit if a new ANFP board was to his liking.

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