Argentina FA chief Grondona has been hospitalized in Buenos Aires

President of Argentine Football Association Julio Grondona has been hospitalized.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina —

Argentina Football Association chief Julio Grondona was hospitalized on Wednesday after feeling ”mildly indisposed,” AFA officials said.

Local media reported that Grondona, 82, had a heart attack, but La Nacion newspaper said initial test results dismissed that. No other details have been released by the AFA.


Grondona, who is known as ”The Godfather,” has been AFA president since 1979, and is a FIFA senior vice president. But he had announced that we would step down when his term ends in 2015.

Since Grondona has been in charge, Argentina has won the World Cup in 1986 and lost the final in 1990 and 2014. But he has never been far from controversy.

Critics have blamed him for the endemic fan violence in Argentine football, where every club match faces the threat of violence by hooligan groups. Grondona has said the problem simply reflects the growing violence on the streets of the country.

He has also been heavily criticized by former national coach and retired star Diego Maradona, who blamed Grondona for many of the festering problems in the national game.

Grondona hired Maradona as the national team coach and then dismissed him after Argentina lost in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup. During the 2014 tournament, Maradona responded to being called a ”bad luck charm” by Grondona by showing him the middle finger on live TV.