NEW YORK (AP) – Argentinian Football Association president Julio Grondona has withdrawn his much-criticised proposal of creating a new 38-team top-flight tournament for the 2012/2013 season.
Grondona's proposal was to join the first and second divisions in one league, which would assure relegated River Plate's presence in the top flight next year regardless of how they perform this term.
It would also benefit the national government, as they own the television rights for the top tier but not for the second division.
Grondona put forward the idea at last week's AFA executive committee meeting, receiving approval from 15 out of the 20 top-flight teams, but it needed ratifying in a general assembly.
However, the project was the subject of much criticism both from a sporting perspective - no top league in the world has such a large amount of teams and world governing body FIFA do not recommend it - and from the political side, with the AFA presidential election due to be held in October.
"The tournament won't change. The idea is suspended,'' Grondona said.
"I won't call to any assembly in October, November or December. I have no interest in any change. It will be the clubs who should take now any further step for making any change to the tournament - changes that they had been claiming for a long time.''
The AFA later released a statement confirming the boss's decision, and accusing "the media, the companies owning the TV rights and some politicians'' of a campaign that created confusion about the idea and led fans to oppose the project.