BUENOS AIRES: Veteran world football powerbroker Julio Grondona has said he intends to retire in 2015 as president of the Argentinian association writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

However the 82-year-old, who has held the AFA reigns since 1979, said that he would certainly continue to sit tight with FIFA.

Grondona is a force within the world federation as senior vice-president and chairman of the finance committee.

He could have a key role to play in the political wrangling expected over the election of a new FIFA president in 2015 if Sepp Blatter fulfils his promise to step down.

Grondona said: “I feel very well right now and perfectly fine to continue. It’s a very important job and if I retired now then Argentina would lose a powerful status within FIFA.”

Both his wife and his younger brother and close aide Hector have died in the past year.

Grondona was a founder of the Arsenal club of Sarandi and later president of the then world and South American champions Independiente of Avellaneda.

Grondona has been involved in discussions with the Uruguayan federation over submission of a joint bid to FIFA to host jointly the centenary 2030 World Cup. Uruguay staged the first finals in 1930 when only 13 teams competed; now the finals comprise 32 nations.

Under Grondona’s presidency Argentina won the World Cup in 1986, five world youth cups and Olympic Games gold in both 2004 and 2008.

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