This Wednesday, the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) reported that the top leader of the entity, Jesus Berardinelli died in Caracas. On July 20, he had decompensated after being detained by the forces of the Chavista regime in the framework of an investigation against him.
The 61-year-old leader was hospitalized at the Clinicas Caracas medical center, after having been the victim of syncope. Due to a picture of respiratory failure, he had been intubated and taken to intensive therapy, according to a statement issued by the FVF leaders.
"We fulfilled the painful duty to report that Ing. Jesús Berardinelli QEPD, who was president of the FVF, has died today. We send our heartfelt words of regret to his family and friends for such a painful loss that national football mourns … ", the federation wrote in a statement published on social networks. After this publication, various entities and clubs such as Conmebol and Zamora FC joined with messages of support and respect.
After assuming functions as interim president of the organization, being first vice president of the institution, Jesus Berardinelli He had definitively taken office when his predecessor, Laureano González, announced his resignation on March 11. Now, FVF sources informed him Infobae that it is necessary to call elections to elect his replacement, for which – surely – the elections scheduled for March 2021 will be brought forward.
Days before his arrest, the manager had reported on local radio 94.1 FM a risk of "government intervention" and blamed the Minister of Sport, Pedro Infante, who is also second vice president of the FVF.
Berardinelli He then used FIFA as a shield, which rejects that the ordinary justice decides football issues: "If they intervene, FIFA will come with all the irons". But Comptroller Elvis Amoroso stressed that it was a "particular action" against him. In addition, the arrest involved another case, as an arrest warrant for crimes such as "forging a public document" and "defamation" against the former coach of the Venezuelan team, Rafael Dudamel, was leaked to the local press.
More than two weeks after the capture, no government, judicial or police authority has publicly confirmed the arrest of the leader, but the FVF had asked in a previous statement to "respect" his rights after the "alleged arrest", reporting that he had been put under the custody of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB).
All these conflicts have led to a crisis that coincides with moments in which the Venezuelan team awaits the debut of the Portuguese José Peseiro as coach, once the South American Qualifiers can be played towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup, whose start has been postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The former wine technician, Rafael Dudamel, resigned last January, closing a cycle that began in April 2016, arguing that his relationship with the leadership "was deteriorating rapidly."
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