Diego Maradona & Romario Have Had It Up to Aquí with CONMEBOL
Ex-futbolistas Diego Maradona and Romario are ready to tag team the evil corruption within next year's World Cup host federation.
The duo gave a seething criticism of CONMEBOL yesterday at meeting at the Corinthians headquarters in Sao Paolo.
But are they the right men to lead the line fighting corruption in South American football?
In front of reps from 20 clubs and one Uruguayan lawyer, they offered a rallying cry to stomp out corruption in their dark corner of the shadowy world of FIFA.
"We have seen, with astonishment and great sadness, that football is for just a few," Maradona said after the meeting, "It doesn't belong to the clubs, the supporters or the players. So we are going to form a commission to unmask these people who do so much harm to the game."
Romario, the ex-Brazil striker , is now member of Congress and leads a campaign against the 2014 World Cup, claiming it's been tainted by money laundering. In an interview with Brazilian Rolling Stone last year, he called the event the "Cup of Lies". After which, he posed for this photo..
Romario said Wednesday, "We have to get more people together. The clubs, the ex-players and the current players have to take the fight to CONMEBOL. It's a movement for transparency and dignity in football."
This all comes off the back of the April resignation of Nicolas Leoz, the 84 year old, long-standing CONMEBOL president. A week after which, FIFA's ethics commission announced Leoz had taken bribes equaling more than $700,000 from ISL, a now bankrupt FIFA marketing arm.
The man who replaced him, Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo - Leoz's former VP, isn't quite a bastion of morality either. For loads more on the CONMEBOL corruption, this.
But with Figueredo's position up for re-election in 2015, this would seem a good time for Maradona and Romario to start cleaning out CONMEBOL closets.
Let's hope to gawd this movement actually picks up speed. With a line-up of questionably chosen World Cups running till 2022, it'd be nice to see a muckraking committee set a precedent of cleaning up their confederations.
Of course, this ho-hummin' all sounds great. But basically, two soccer legends got together with a bunch of friends, bitched and moaned about FIFA and it's corrupt tributaries - as we all do - slammed their fists on the table a few times whilst shouting "Let's do something!", then probably went out for an expensive meal of chicken hearts and sofrito.
At the same time, maybe they're perfect for this.
Maradona sure as hell shouldn't be spending his time as a manager, so this is a good gig for him. It also sounds a lot like a way for him to set up his own campaign to take a post in the federation.
Romario has balls, is handsome, and people listen to him. He's basically the Brazilian George Clooney. If anything, he's more suited for the job than Maradona.
They're like Mario and Luigi, starting the fight against FIFA's Bowser. And I'm all for it. But if they were to end up with CONMEBOL gigs themselves, what's to say they won't accept the same tempting bribes as their predecessors?