The great purge has begun.
Argentina’s head coach, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, has resigned following a meeting with Argentine Football Association vice president Claudio Tapia.
Allegedly, the meeting was to discuss Martino’s concerns about coaching the national team during the Olympics because many Argentine clubs have not officially released their players to the national team for the Olympics.
Not happy with how the meeting went, Martino opted to resign. Like good soldiers, his entire coaching staff quit too.
Due to uncertainty over the designation of new authorities in the Argentine Football Association and the serious problems in putting together the team that will represent the country in the Olympic Games, the staff have chosen to resign.
Official AFA statement
The Argentine Football Association has been in shambles since Lionel Messi decided to abruptly retire following Argentina’s disappointing penalty kick loss to Chile in finals of the Copa América Centenario.
But in reality, the problem started two years ago with the death of Julio Grondona, then president of the Argentine Football Association and senior vice president of FIFA.
Grondona had been in charge the AFA since 1979 and everything ran through him. He spent 35 years collecting power and influence, only to have the organization he helped build turn to shit after his death because he wasn’t there to apply the bubble gum and duct tape necessary to hold it all together.
In June 2016, current AFA president Luis Segura was charged with fraud accepting millions of dollars in payments in exchange for TV broadcasting rights.
Basically the AFA is a microcosm of FIFA, that is to say a disgusting cesspool of greed and corruption.
If you think that Messi’s “retirement” and Martino’s resignation are the end of Argentina’s problems, they aren’t.
Sergio Aguero’s father said on Monday that his son will likely follow Messi’s lead in retiring from the national team unless things get better in a hurry.
If Leo goes, I believe Sergio will go also.
Leonel del Castillo, Sergio Aguero’s father
Futhermore, Gerardo Werthein, chairman of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA), said that there was a “50 percent” chance that Argentina would not even field a team at the Olympics because the AFA has been unable to get the required releases for their players from their club teams.
The AFA is everything wrong with soccer bureacracy and politics. Friction borne of greed and corruption has sullied the organization to its very core. The only way to restore its integrity (if it ever had any) is to completely gut it.
Getting rid of Tata Martino is a step in the right direction, but more heads will have to roll before Argentina can field a side that includes Lionel Messi.