SAN SALVADOR ( Associated Press) — El Salvador’s state-run national sporting institution informed FIFA on Monday about the disciplinary suspension of the Salvadoran Soccer Federation’s executive committee, and asked it to participate in a general commission that would replace sanctioned officials.
Government intervention in the federation could lead to El Salvador being pulled out of international tournaments. The laws of FIFA, the governing body of world football, prohibit third party interference in the internal affairs of national associations.
According to Salvadoran officials, the federation’s leaders have reportedly handled their administration unfairly.
The Ethics and Appeals Court of INDES reported over the weekend that members of the federation’s current executive committee as well as the secretary general have been removed from their positions. It also decided to set up a Normalization Commission to standardize the statutes required by the Common Sports Law approved by Congress in November 2019.
INDES is chaired by Yamil Bukele, brother of El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele.
Decree and execute a provisional precautionary measure consisting of the temporary termination of his functions as members of the Executive Committee of the Salvadoran Football Federation (FESFUT) for M/s. Hugo Attilio Carrillo Castillo in his capacity as President and other members of the Executive Committee”, prayed for the resolution.
INDES intervened when a general congress was to be held in which representatives of all professional teams and departmental football associations were going to elect the federation’s new executive committee, which would operate between August 2022 and July 2026.
The differences between INDES and FESFUT began in late 2019, when the new sports law came into force. The government gave all sports federations a period of one year to leave the Ministry of the Interior, register with INDES and elect their officials, as per the requirements of the new law. The Federation did not comply with this.
FESFUT argued for months that if it registered with INDES, it jeopardized the independence that FIFA asks for it as a condition and that its statutes had many articles that did not match the law.
In April, FIFA officials arrived in El Salvador to meet with the President of INDES and the President of FESFUT, but no agreement was reached.
According to the new rules, if FESFUT does not comply with sports law, INDES will not renew the credentials required to access the banking system, along with other procedures. The term ends on 31 July 2022.
In the meantime, the Attorney General’s office continues to investigate the handling of funds entering the institution’s treasury.
Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado said they were investigating donations from FIFA and CONCACAF, television rights, radio and all sponsorships to FESFUT.
He further said that in the first investigation they uncover irregularities in non-payment of taxes as well as dietary and travel expenses of some members of the Federation.