Macri states Football for All will be ‘discontinued’

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri has confirmed that the government’s Football for All (FPT) scheme, which ensures free-to-air coverage of domestic football competitions, will be “discontinued”.

Earlier this week, Argentina’s Primera Division clubs 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 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.

Speaking in an interview with Argentinian television station América TV yesterday (Thursday), Macri (pictured) said: “We will sit at a table to see what are the terms of the discontinuation.” However, he did not comment on whether broadcasts of domestic football would remain freely available.

Macri, who was elected late last year, previously vowed to bring an end to the scheme in 2019. He has been keen to end football’s reliance on the state and added: “May football finance itself again.”

The news comes amid multiple reports that the new Superliga system for domestic club football will be delayed until 2017. The Superliga proposal received almost unanimous approval at a meeting of the Argentinian Football Association last week, with only one official from the 71 representatives voting against the measure.

Talks over the creation of a Superliga have been ongoing for two months, but it is claimed that more time is needed to determine its structure. The new-look Superliga was set to commence on August 19, with the season running through to May 2017. It is set to include 30 clubs in total.