Wait a minute, wait a minute… didn’t we already go through this in 2009? Apparently the lesson didn’t take. Sebastian Bauza, AUF president and the entire executive council resigned in a shock move that follows some horrible decision-making from all parties involved including José Mujica, the Uruguayan President and Nobel Peace Prize candidate.
“Mujica abruptly withdrew police protection from the home stadiums of Penarol and Nacional, the country’s most popular teams, on Thursday after Nacional’s fans injured 40 police officers in post-game violence the night before.” so says an AP report but according to Reuters, this is what occurred, “Mujica withdrew police protection after the latest violent incident when Nacional fans fought with police at the end of their team’s 4-2 home defeat by Argentina’s Newell’s Old Boys in a Libertadores Cup match in Montevideo last Wednesday.”
Which led to this…
“The federation and its clubs decided to play Saturday’s games anyway, but the players pulled out on Sunday, saying they won’t be safe without police.” said an AP report, because police protection for the players could no longer be guaranteed, The players union, aka la Mutual Uruguaya de Futbolistas Profesionales, ordered a work stoppage – probably the smartest thing ever done by a players union in light of the horrible decisions taken by Bauzá, Nacional President Eduardo Ache, Peñarol President Juan Pedro Damiani and the President of the Republic José Mujica.
What Bauzá claims…
In a four point letter, the Executive Council outlined the vague reasons why they are resigning but largely put the blame on the “Political-Institutional” conditions that are preventing Uruguay’s football from moving forward. Strange letter, made even stranger by the fact that since the Summer Clasico, which resulted in the suspension of 9 players from both Nacional and Peñarol, Uruguay’s AUF has allowed the Government to mete out suspensions – which culminated in this bizarre intervention by Mujica’s government to NOT police Uruguay’s domestic league matches involving Peñarol and Nacional. Can you imagine if Sunday’s derby between Boca Juniors & River Plate did not have a police presence?
Sebastian Bauzá – an ineffective President despite what the National Team has achieved in the last 4 years, stood behind as Uruguay’s domestic league came undone – finally allowed Uruguay’s government to get involved in football affairs… a big no-no in the land of FIFA.
José Mujica – His move to remove the police from Primera matches is irresponsible to say the least.
Will Uruguay be suspended from the World Cup?
This rumor is spreading like wildfire in Uruguay but according to a Reuters report: “Eugenio Figueredo, the president of South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL, told Reuters that he knew of no FIFA investigation into the AUF… I’m totally unaware (of this FIFA story). The truth is I have no news from CONMEBOL or FIFA,” Figueredo said in a telephone interview from Chile where he was on a visit. “You can’t draw conclusions from a rumour.”
Since this Blog has been around, AUF presidents being fired, quitting or “replaced” is nothing new – in fact in 2009, Uruguay’s AUF went through three presidents in 3 months. What FIFA might do is kindly warn Mujica’s government not to get involved in football affairs via the old “if you keep this up, we’ll suspend you” warning letter – suspension is possible despite what Figueredo claimed but Mujica knows the value of football despite claiming he doesn’t really care for it much, if Uruguay is suspended from the World Cup, there’s no doubt his government would suffer greatly.