Julio Humberto Grondona, President of the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) and Senior Vice-President of FIFA, passed away on Wednesday 30 July in Buenos Aires after being hospitalised with cardiac failure. He was 82. 

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter expressed his dismay at the news, stating, “I feel a great personal sense of loss, because he was a lifelong friend. But it is also a huge blow for FIFA as an organisation, as he was one of its key figures.”

Grondona, who began his career as a football executive by founding Sarandi-based Arsenal in 1956, was named head of the AFA on 6 April 1979, a position he held until his death, a lengthy tenure that demonstrated his importance within the game in Argentina. He also served as President of Independiente between 1976 and 1981.

A member of FIFA’s Executive Committee since 1988, his previous duties included chairing the governing body’s Finance Committee, in addition to his role of Senior Vice-President. “On behalf of FIFA, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Julio’s family,” said President Blatter.