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Julio Grondona's pearls in the FIFA Gate series: from the justification for bribes, to his reaction when they asked him to win the Copa América

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Julio Humberto Grondona died on July 30, 2014, after the World Cup in Brazil
Julio Humberto Grondona died on July 30, 2014, after the World Cup in Brazil

The Serie President –Which is already available on the streaming platform of Amazon, Prime Video– puts Julio Humberto Grondona as a pillar of the corruption structure in South American soccer. In the second episode of this play that stars Sergio Jadue, former leader of Chilean soccer, the late Argentine leader is the one who teaches him how to manage within the Conmebol web.

In the second episode, the presidents of the South American federations are divided between those who want to give television rights to the Brazilian company Traffic and those who prefer Argentina's Full Play, commanded by Mariano Jinkis. It is in this context that Jadue finds himself in a dilemma: supporting his fellow Pacific partners (Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador) or protecting himself under the wing of Grondona. In the middle of that crack, the leader receives in fiction – based on the complaints from the FIFA Gate – several stacks of dollars, sent by Jinkis to help him in his decision and that is when he decides to solve his doubts with Don Julio.

"If you go to eat with friends at a restaurant and the waiter distributes a plate for each one but there is one of the diners who rejects the food, what would you think?", asks the former FIFA vice president, inviting him to accept the money like the rest of the leaders. "Everyone eats or nobody eats", sentence. With those two phrases, the actor who plays the former president of the AFA completely clears his colleague's mind and incidentally leaves him some advice.

Sergio Jadue was president of the ANFP between 2011 and 2015
Sergio Jadue was president of the ANFP between 2011 and 2015

One of the concepts that Grondona always applied in the AFA and in FIFA is to seek the support of as many leaders as possible, regardless of the power they have since all the votes are worth one. Thus, in the Motherhouse of world football he turned his back on Europe and allied himself with Africa and Asia, for example. In the series, this is what he recommends Jadue to do in Chile.

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The alliance between these two leaders begins to forge and the ANFP president decides to ask a favor of Don Julio: Chile to win the Copa América. Until then, his country did not have official titles and this caused mockery from several of his colleagues, but Grondona makes this clear in a meeting that takes place at the Arsenal stadium in Sarandí (scene that was actually filmed in the field of Tigre): "The America's Cup is not for everyone."

After the death of the boss of Argentine football, Chile won two trophies: the 2015 Copa América and the 2016 Centennial Cup, and both times beat the Argentine team on penalties. Fate wanted in the narrative thread that with Grondona dead, Jadue would fulfill his dream and in the stained glass windows of his association the trophies finally shine.

It is important to highlight that although the story of President It is based on real events and on statements that the same leaders presented to the United States courts after the outbreak of the FIFA Gate, many of the dialogues were fictionalized and do not agree with reality.

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Lisa Durant

Lisa has been a freelance journalist who has worked for various print magazine online. After years of spent working in the field of journalism, she took a plunge and founded Asap Land sharing the latest news bulletins from the field of Business and Technology as well as general headlines. She writes mostly the General US Headlines and Business News.

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