FIFA has taken temporary control of the Uruguayan soccer federation because of governance concerns.

By Associated Press
August 22, 2018

ZURICH (AP) – FIFA has taken temporary control of the Uruguayan soccer federation because of governance concerns as the country campaigns with Argentina and Paraguay to host the 2030 World Cup.

FIFA said officials decided Tuesday to appoint a ''normalization committee'' that will run the federation, known as AUF, until Feb. 28, 2019.

The intervention follows the AUF's president, Wilmar Valdez, quitting a day before he was to stand for re-election last month. The vote was put on hold.

FIFA says the electoral process ''is not in accordance with the requirements of transparency as outlined in the FIFA and CONMEBOL statutes.''

Uruguay stepped up its campaign to host the World Cup in South America in 2030 by holding events in Moscow during this year's tournament.

FIFA has yet to outline the formal bidding process for the 2030 tournament.

The postponement of the AUF vote came amid a corruption probe.

Authorities are investigating whether there are recordings of Valdez discussing bribes to soccer executives and government officials during the purchase of lighting and security cameras for Uruguay's stadiums.

The 53-year-old Valdez became the AUF's president in 2014 after his predecessor Sebastian Bauza resigned.

Valdez' temporary substitute is Edgar Welker, who accused FIFA of making the decision based in imprecise information given by CONMEBOL, the South American soccer body.

The AUF is expected to decide soon whether it will extend the contract of coach Oscar Tabarez, who has led the national team for 12 years, taking it to three straight World Cups. He also lifted the 2011 Copa America for the Celeste.

Tabarez is not expected to be on the bench on Sept. 7 when Uruguay faces Mexico in Houston.

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