The Argentinian government has confirmed that its Football for All (FPT) scheme, which ensures free-to-air coverage of domestic football competitions, will be scrapped at the end of this year.
The development comes following a meeting between President Mauricio Macri, FPT chairman Fernando Marín and Macri’s general secretary, Fernando De Andreis, whose department oversees the budget for the programme.
Although no official statement was released following the meeting, it has been widely reported in the Argentinian media that the government will cease funding the FPT programme from 2017.
In July, Macri (pictured) confirmed that FPT would be “discontinued”. Argentina’s Primera Division clubs had earlier requested that FPT be disbanded at the end of the year. Argentinian newspaper Clarin said a letter signed by 26 of the 30 Primera Division clubs had 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 had three main arguments.
The clubs claimed that the end of FPT would release a major economic burden on the state, while also allowing them to pursue a more lucrative agreement. They were seeking that an international tender be launched for new rights partners.
Macri had previously vowed to bring an end to the scheme in 2019, having been keen to end football’s reliance on the state.