ASUNCION: José Manuel Astigarraga, a former Price Waterhouse and communications specialist, has been appointed new secretary-general of CONMEBOL in place of Gorka Villar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Villar, lawyer son of senior FIFA and UEFA director Angel Maria Villar, vanished from the South Americn confederation earlier this year after a legal controversy which erupted amid the fall-out from the United States FIFAGate investigation.

Astigarraga spent six years with the accountancy corporation then another 18 heading the Tigo mobil and communications company.

He was appointed by new CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez in the latest move to clean up the confederation many of whose past board members have been indcted by the US Department of Justice in the $200m bribery and money-laundering scandal.

Dominguez’s three presidential predecessors (Nicolas Leoz, Eugenio Figuereido and Angel Napout) have all been indicted while Figuereido is also currently on trial in his native Uruguay on other related corruption charges.

Also indicted were two past CONMEBOL general secretaries in Argentinians Jose Luis Meiszner and Eduardo Deluca.

Astigarraga was head-hunted for CONMEBOL by the US recruitment firm Spencer Stuart.

Dominguez said: “One of the cornerstones of change of the new CONMEBOL is building an institution that is corporate, professional and modern.

“That starts with the design of an organisational structure and the formation of a team to respond to the competitive needs of Conmebol within the context of the global sports industry.

“José Astigarraga has a proven track record in senior management in various sectors and will contribute his expertise in auditing processes and corporate transformation to ensure transparency of the institution.”

Dominguez also confirmed the appointment of lawyer Monserrat Jimenez as deputy secretary-general. She will also maintain her previous role as general counsel.