Julio Grondona, the vice president of FIFA, has died at the age of 82, reports La Nacion. In addition to his role with FIFA, Grondona had been the head of the Argentine Soccer Federation for 35 years.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. He Had Just Been Hospitalized
Grondona had been hospitalized in the last 24 hours with a heart condition. It had been reported that Grondona was only being moved to hospital as a “precaution.” The Buenos Aires Herald reported that Grondona was being treated at the anatorio Mitre private medical center.
2. Grondona Was in FIFA’s ‘Old Guard’
Grondona was seen as one of “FIFA’s old guard.”
3. Grondona Was a Vile Anti-Semite
He constantly attracted controversy in his career, especially for his various anti-semitic comments. In 2003, he said that the didn’t think Jews could referee at the highest level because “Jews don’t like hard work.” When highly-rated Argentine coach, Jose Pekerman, was slated to become coach of Argentina’s soccer team, Grondona was not happy, stating that he felt Jews have no place in soccer because “Jews don’t like it when it gets rough.”
4. His Career at the Top of Argentine Soccer Went on For 60 Years
He was a high-ranking soccer official stemming from 1956 when he and his brother, Hector, founded Arsenal in Argentina. During his reign at the top of Argentina soccer, the team went to three World Cups, winning only once, in 1986.
5. Controversy & Corruption Run in the Family
At the last World Cup in Brazil, his son, Humberto, admitted to sellling FIFA tickets on the black market.