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Argentinian clubs seek end to Football for All scheme

Argentina’s Primera Division football clubs have requested that the government’s Football for All (FPT) scheme, which ensures free-to-air coverage of domestic football competitions, is disbanded at the end of the year.

Argentinian newspaper Clarin said a letter signed by 26 of the 30 Primera Division clubs has been sent to the government. Arsenal, Olimpo, River Plate and San Lorenzo were said to be the only teams not to sign the letter, which has three main arguments.

The clubs claim that the end of FPT will release a major economic burden on the state, while also allowing them to pursue a more lucrative agreement. They are seeking that an international tender be launched for new rights partners.

Fernando Marin, head of the FPT, said: “There are six months ahead, half of the championship if the championship is long, to define everything. We will discuss the letter sent by the clubs, who want to directly market their product.”

The latest development comes after Argentinian Football Association president Luis Segura and three former presidential cabinet chiefs were last month indicted in an investigation into the sale of the country’s domestic media rights.

Segura, as well as former President Cristina Kirchner’s cabinet heads Anibal Fernandez, Jorge Capitanich and Juan Abal Medina, and six former AFA directors, were named in the indictment.

Federal judge Maria Servini de Cubria is investigating suspected embezzlement in relation to the government’s Football for All scheme. Kirchner spearheaded the introduction of the government’s scheme in 2009.

President Mauricio Macri, who was elected late last year, previously vowed to bring an end to the scheme in 2019.