The truth and the false about Julio Grondona in the series "El Presidente"

Luis Margani plays Julio Humberto Grondona in the series
Luis Margani plays Julio Humberto Grondona in the series

Throughout the 8 chapters that made up the content of this series offered by Amazon Prime Video, we could see that the real events reach only 10 percent of the product, Meanwhile he 90 percent The rest is confusedly diluted in a mixture of passionate and police soap operas of questioned intrigue.

It is known that this type of series supports fiction as a primary offer; however when used real names and surnames the honor of the protagonists are defenselessly exposed.

The Serie President lacks investigative rigor about facts very elementals, very public and widely known that at this point they would have merited, at least, new and attractive elements of journalistic affair FIFA-Gate (there is no legal case under that name), which occurred in Zurich in 2015.

The series directed by Armando Bo result artistically acceptable with very good performances of all its protagonists. Especially those of Andrés Parra what does a Sergio Jadue with marked similarity, Karta Souza –The imaginary FBI agent who never existed–, Paulina Gaitán –Jadue's woman is very different physiognomically from the one we thought we met briefly–, Luis Margani who makes an effort with Grondona unnecessarily and grossly decrepit, to Alberto Ajaka in the role of Jashir Alabi –A supposed lieutenant of Jadue– and to Jean Pierre Noher as the Brazilian businessman J. Awila.

Andrés Parra puts himself in the shoes of the Chilean manager Sergio Jadue
Andrés Parra puts himself in the shoes of the Chilean manager Sergio Jadue

The Julio Grondona true did not limp or drag his right foot, he did not use handles, he did not swallow the eses when speaking, he did not wear cufflinks on the sleeves of his shirts, he never played anything by chance –even with cards–, he did not drink whiskey, he never went to fun night spots, nor did he met in his life with brave bars. On the contrary he imposed by his own example a atypical custom in the Conmebol and also in FIFA: traveling with the wife and including women for social assistance functions in the different federations. Some AFA leaders in times past were marginalized from official delegations for seeking moments of fun that Don Julio did not allow. I mean, the "Capo mafia" that is trying to present is far from the real Grondona.

However, it must be admitted that to sell the misadventures of Jadue, the first repentant who collaborated with the FBI, you had to appeal to a famous personality. And the solution to carry out the project was make Sergio Jadue tell everything that Grondona supposedly said, thought and wanted. The production then took advantage of the image, name and honor of a deceased figure so that the leader with the least track record and the greatest questioning in the life of Conmebol – despite the Copa América won by Chile in penalties in 2015 – attributed to testify a history of which he was never part.

Jadue, who as a prize for his denunciation to the FBI investigators today lives reasonably free in Miami, did not have the sympathy of Julio Grondona. He had a bad first impression when he recently assumed as president of the Chilean ANFP arrived in Buenos Aires in 2011 for a meeting prior to the Copa América dispute to be held in Argentina. At the end of that meeting, I heard Grondona say: "This boy is crazy, he takes the curves at 180 per hour, one day he will crash …"

Jadue arrived in Buenos Aires in 2011 and made a bad impression in Grondona (Photo: AP)
Jadue arrived in Buenos Aires in 2011 and made a bad impression in Grondona (Photo: AP)

In that meeting wanted to distinguish itself from the rest –Probably– and he was not very cordial, distantly empathetic, minimally educated in gestures and in certain expressions, and at the end of the meeting I noticed in Grondona and other participants a marked discomfort with Jadue. And such a concept would be sustained until his death, since Grondona he used to refer many of the Chilean leader's phone calls to another high-ranking Conmebol official with whom he never had a hand-to-hand meeting in the three years that coincided in the transit through life. Rather, Jadue only alternated with Grondona at work meetings, social events, or soccer games. In such a way that all the dialogues shown by the series between Jadue and Grondona never existed.

So it is false that Grondona had defined Marcelo Bielsa how "A stubborn who was born in a golden cradle" in the supposed colloquium where Jadue proposes that one of the reasons why he was elected president of the Chilean Association was to terminate the contract of the prestigious technical director of his national team.

For Grondona, Bielsa was always the peak of ethics as well as exercising undisputed leadership with the Argentina National team. So much so that after the frustrated return in the first round of the Korea-Japan World Cup in 2002, renewed his contract despite the opinions of his closest “advisers”. For Grondona it did not matter that Bielsa did not greet the leaders not even in an elevator in Tokyo, nor did he run to meet him every time he went to Ezeiza; He took into account the opinion of the players and the climate of respect that this leader generated. The separation occurred in 2004 once the Argentine National Team obtained the gold medal in Athens. It was by Bielsa's will who then declared "feeling empty" and instead the AFA did not hire anyone, appointed Jose Pekerman, chief technical director of youth schools.

For Grondona it did not matter that Bielsa did not greet the leaders (Photo: NA)
For Grondona it did not matter that Bielsa did not greet the leaders (Photo: NA)

The series also shows, under the protection of fiction, minor situations that never existed. For example:

TO) Jadue never went to the service station that Grondona had in Sarandí and that was from Esso and not from YPF as shown.

B) Jadue never visited accompanied by Grondona the Arsenal court that in the series is that of Tigre easily noticeable by the colors and even the acronym.

C) Jadue cannot attribute the mythical and mischievous mischief of having manipulated at the suggestion of Grondona the draw for the 2015 Copa América by freezing the convenient balls as these were extracted from the cups by four idols of indisputable honorability as Elías Figueroa, Iván Zamorano, Carlos Gamarra and Leo Rodríguez to whom one could never insinuate to carry out such a malicious maneuver, even in fiction.

D) Jadue never went to the house of Havelange in Rio de Janeiro carried by Grondona, nothing further.

Ernesto Cherquis Bialo at the funeral of Julio Humberto Grondona (Photo: Adrián Escandar)
Ernesto Cherquis Bialo at the funeral of Julio Humberto Grondona (Photo: Adrián Escandar)

These falsehoods that seem to require the fictional with respect to the true and distinguish the documentary from the testimonial, would be more credible if at least the tangible and easily resolved facts had been adjusted to an objectivity that was public and that only required the screenwriters a minimum dose of investigative rigor.

We will give a few examples of chapter 1, the Grondona's funeral, in which Jadue spent a few hours on the morning of Thursday, August 1, 2014.

one- Grondona was inside the dressed coffin wearing the shirt and an Arsenal diver and not in a suit as shown.

2- The ring that said "Everything Happens", Grondona no longer had on the ring finger of his left hand because on the cold night of July 20, 2012, in his field in Brandsen and accompanied by Dr. Vigo, Arsenal doctor , threw him through the air to an undefined location and was never found. Before doing so, she confessed with tears to Vigo: "Not everything happens doctor, the pain and anguish over the death of Nelly – who had died 34 days before – will never happen to me, I don't know if I can continue living without her." (And he could not, because he began to die when she left).

3- The series does not reflect the most important presences of all the areas that attended to say their last goodbye to the Ezeiza estate. Among the thousands of people who went to fire him, were the current president Crisitina Fernandez de Kirchner –Who was received and presented to the family by Luis Segura–, the Head of the City Government Mauricio Macri, the president of FIFA Joseph Blatter, who gave a moving farewell speech wondering: "What will I do, what will soccer in the world do without you, Julio, who will we look at, who will we consult …?" But in addition to them, he also arrived on a regular Iberia flight interrupting his vacation on the Amalfi Coast, Lionel Messi. And the entire dome of the Conmebol, the Villar from Spain, (Ángel María, President of the Royal Federation and FIFA Vice along with his son Gorka), officials and former State officials, legislators, ambassadors, all the leadership of Argentine football, players from all clubs and various generations like Riquelme who worshiped Grondona for an invaluable old family favor, just like Julio César Falcioni, whom he rescued from a threat from the brothers Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela for claiming a debt in his time in America de Cali, Augustine Orion for help in a difficult personal matter … Entire squads, the entire AFA of the last 40 years … the Ricchieri cut by such intense traffic. Nor is the notable presence among the attendees of Marcelo Tinelli –That he was born there as an AFA leader– and Alejandro Burzaco –CEO of Tournaments–, whose movements among the leaders were clearly dominant. None of this that was public and easily edited was shown in the series.

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4- The meeting of leaders that in the series is exhibited in the cemetery never existed because neither Blatter (omitted in the sample), nor any member of the Conmebol went to Avellaneda to bid farewell to the remains of Grondona, they had done so at the Ezeiza Estate after the Mass that took place in the San Francisco de Asís Chapel that he had built Nélida Pariani from Grondona so that all the teams of the national teams have an altar where they can say goodbye before each trip or competition.

5- The meeting to devise the future and Don Julio's place at Conmebol took place in two stages: the first was in the building that the largest team occupies in Ezeiza and lasted until 11:45 a.m., minutes before the final departure of the Courtship and the second was at the Hilton Hotel until 17:00, since Blatter would return to Zurich at night on the plane rented by FIFA. That same Friday, August 2, 2014, Messi (also omitted in the series) would return to Italy via Barcelona on Iberia and the other members of Conmebol to their respective countries. Jadue –the rapporteur for the series– was not at the meeting since he had left for Santiago on Thursday 1st at 3:00 pm and his name was not mentioned in the debate with Blatter.

However, Jadue sold Amazon or Amazon bought Jadue a lie, a fraud, a fantasy of a mythomaniac who briefly served as president of Chilean soccer and who the day after the greatest achievement in history – the 2015 Copa América – He had to leave the country with his family and arrive in Miami on condition of being extradited by bribes and money laundering. And given his longstanding collaboration as an informer of his colleagues before the FBI, the conditions of his forced exile were and are preferential.

After seeing President The sensation of two situations could remain: the first is that the series exceeds the time of the proposed objective, stretching with marital, family and personal situations that only provide an idle quota of Latin passion, infiltration and espionage; the other is that During development, its axis was changed until the role of Grondona in the entire corruption plot was softened.

The scenes of the FBI girl infiltrating Conmebol's heart as a waitress are meaningless because all leaders, officials and even employees knew about agreement between FIFA and a company authorized by the FBI with former agents of that body that were originally hired to act at all stages of the world against racism and discrimination. For this they were incorporated into the heart of the institution by Blatter against the opinion of Grondona who always warned him: “Are you going to pay those who, to demonstrate their efficiency, will end up investigating you? Crazy…", he insisted.

“Are you going to pay those who, to demonstrate their efficiency, will end up investigating you? Crazy ... "Grondona told Blatter
“Are you going to pay those who, to demonstrate their efficiency, will end up investigating you? Crazy … "Grondona told Blatter

After the election that Qatar beat the United States in December 2010 with the presence of the President Bill clinton, the Mossad –Secret service of Israel, an enemy country of Qatar- informed the FBI headquarters in Washington, that election was spurious because it was achieved with purchased votes. It was then that in the FIFA launched an investigation by the US Attorney from Brooklyn, Michael García. Since then everyone sensed that there would be microphones, telephones, cameras and other computer systems under discreet FBI monitoring both in the Zurich building and in the rest of the confederations. Hence one of Grondona's phrases: "Technology is for quilombo …".

In other words, at the Conmebol headquarters, which has neither a disco, nor a bar, nor a show, nor dancers as shown, the meetings were held in the presidency room around a rectangular table. That venue, it was presumed, was full of microphones. And the cameras were also an extraordinary supporting evidence to prevent Mariano Jinkis –As the series grossly shows– parade distributing envelopes with cash through the different rooms of the bribed leaders. For all this already had fallen in 2013 the American Chuck Blazer, first repentant-collaborator (Concacaf and FIFA, died in 2017 operator in the purchase of votes for Qatar with the money of the expelled Qatari billionaire Mohamed Bin Hammam); they had also resigned Nicolas Leoz (in 2013 for a loan from FIFA for an activity to be carried out in Paraguay that never started, died in 2019) and Ricardo Teixeira (in 2012 for having received bribes from the ISL company for more than 10 million Euros).

It is not all: Franz Beckenbauer he had been fined, warned and suspended by the FIFA Ethics Committee for not collaborating in the investigation of serious irregularities in the accountability of the World Cup played in Germany 2006. In other words, the intrigue generated in the series for a girl to investigate to Jadue sticking a microphone into a soccer ball shaped keychain And this will tell you about how the television rights for the Copa América 2015, 2016, 2020 and 2024 had been bought and co-opted between the companies Traffic of Brazil (Jose Awila, died in 2018) Full Play (Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, his son) and Tournaments (Alejandro Burzaco) later converted to Datisa (deactivated in November 2017) was unnecessarily obvious.

The truths about Grondona that the series shows are that he had full knowledge of everything and that everything would require his approval although this was against their will as the Jinkis (Pacific block) entered a business that until then controlled Traffic and to which Torneos, their preferred company, would be associated. It is also true that he made every possible effort to avoid Awila's lawsuit against Conmebol in the Miami courts because he knew that he could not support in court the ethical behavior of all South American presidents. And finally it is undeniable that Grondona did not want the 2022 World Cup to be played in Qatar because he preferred the United States, as it says in the last chapter: "If a president of the United States lobbies to play a World Cup it is because he has an interest, you have to give him a ball … A crazy thing about Qatar, but well I am not going to be .. I hope they are lucky when the gringos attack, "he said in the fiction before Figueredo (Uruguay) and Marin (Brazil) leaving the FIFA bathroom.

At 2015, five years later, the FIFA Gate scandal in which Grondona is not mentioned in any fraudulent action, according to the "García Report". That investigation of 999 pages was born to know who they had spuriously sold their vote in favor of Qatar and along the way, transfers to North American banks appeared, laundering money by CONMEBOL leaders that involved the businessmen who had coimered them. All arrested, processed and sentenced.

In this series of Amazon Prime Video, perhaps made against the clock, perhaps in a hurry, with some reverse gears and without historical rigor, the imaginary dialogue between Joao Havelange breathing thanks to a portable oxygen tube and Julio Grondona, 50 years of FIFA.

In the conversation between the two endearing gerontes, Havelange says in the face of so much dispersion that everything seen was a fantasy, a novel, a fictitious fact in clear allusion to any legal ulteriority. And he anticipated that now he will be the one to tell the truth about the world of football, which is a preview of the next series.

Grondona instead and in one of those dialogues states: "In the end it will be ingratitude that occupies your chair …".

How wise, in this too he was right …

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