Head of Scandal-Plagued Soccer Group Will Oversee FIFA Financeby
South American soccer president Dominguez named to committee
Deceased former chairman named co-coconspirator in FIFA case
The head of Conmebol, South America’s soccer’s scandal-scarred governing body, is the new leader of FIFA’s financial oversight committee.
As head of the eight-person committee, Alejandro Dominguez will oversee the financial management of soccer’s global governing body, which earns more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue. The committee also makes recommendations to the FIFA Council on financial matters and asset management.
The appointment is one of a raft of little-publicized changes at FIFA under President Gianni Infantino, the organization’s first new leader after the 17-year reign of Sepp Blatter ended in an international corruption scandal.
Dominguez, who hails from a wealthy Paraguayan family, has been trying to clean up Conmebol’s image after leaders from every one of its ten member nations was implicated in the U.S. Department of Justice investigation that also ended Blatter’s tenure.
Prior to Infantino’s election, FIFA froze a $10 million stipend to Conmebol until Dominguez could make changes to Conmebol’s governance structures. The cash has recently been released, a FIFA spokesman said.
The previous head of FIFA’s finance committee, Argentine soccer executive Julio Grondona, was also ensnared in the DOJ investigation. In his role as committee chair, Grondona authorized a $10 million payment to a former Caribbean soccer kingpin that U.S authorities characterized as a bribe that led to South Africa being selected as the 2010 World Cup host.
Grondona died in 2014. His assets and estate were frozen in June 2015 by Argentine authorities amid an ongoing tax-evasion probe.
All members of FIFA’s standing committees had to pass background checks. Their compensation hasn’t been decided, FIFA said.