BUENOS AIRES/ASUNCION: Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentinian football federation, has been sacked as a member of FIFA Council by his own South American governing body writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Tapia angered CONMEBOL supremo Alejandro Dominguez with his criticism of this year’s Copa America in Brazil.

In a statement, CONMEBOL said an election would be held in the coming weeks to replace the 51-year-old.

It added: “Given the seriousness of the comments publicly used by Mr Tapia, considering the importance of his position, CONMEBOL has decided to withdraw with immediate effect its confidence Claudio Tapia, thereby temporarily reducing CONMEBOL’s representation to FIFA.”

Tapia claimed that Argentina’s title bid had been derailed by biased refereeing decisions during their 2-0 Copa America semifinal loss to Brazil in Belo Horizonte on July 2.

Captain Lionel Messi also criticised Ecuadorian referee Roddy Zambrano after the match and accused CONMEBOL of corruption. The 32-year-old Barcelona forward later retracted his comments and apologised.

Tapia, president of lower division Barracas and former transport union official,  rose to a vice-presidency of the AFA in 2015 and was appointed president in 2017 after world federation FIFA stepped in to sort out an internal administrative crisis.