SAFA mourns with Argentina

Cape Town - South African Football Association (SAFA) president, Dr Danny Jordaan has joined the world in mourning the passing away of Argentine football supremo, Julio Grondona

According to the SAFA website, the veteran president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) and FIFA vice-president, died on Wednesday at the age of 82 in a Buenos Aires clinic.

“This has come as a shock to me and I presume all those he worked with in Brazil 2014 World Cup. He was a close friend and was instrumental in galvanising the entire South American world to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

“I had many breakfast sittings with him recently in Brazil and his death has come as a shock to me,” said Dr Jordaan on learning about the passing on of Grondona.

The all-powerful figure, who had been in charge of Argentine football since 1979, had been taken to hospital suffering from heart problems and died while undergoing emergency surgery.

Earlier this week he had held meetings with Alejandro Sabella, who decided not to continue as Argentina coach after leading the team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup final in Brazil recently.

Grondona had been a FIFA Executive member since 1988 and was appointed to the head of AFA nine years earlier by the country's military government.

He had been successfully re-elected by clubs to continue governing football in the South American nation every four years since 1979.

His time in charge saw Argentina win the World Cup in Mexico in 1986, the Copa America in 1991 and 1993 and Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008.

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