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CONMEBOL chief Alejandro Dominguez to chair FIFA finance panel

Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.

FIFA has appointed the president of the corruption-ravaged South American governing body to chair its finance committee.

FIFA says Alejandro Dominguez of Paraguay leads the new eight-member panel, which includes two independent officials from outside football.

The CONMEBOL president replaces another FIFA vice president, African leader Issa Hayatou.

Dominguez won the CONMEBOL election last year after his predecessor, Juan Angel Napout, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a football racketeering case and arrested in Switzerland.

Two more former CONMEBOL presidents were previously indicted. FIFA froze funding to the Paraguay-based CONMEBOL during the ongoing American investigation, which does not implicate Dominguez.

FIFA states that the finance panel "shall monitor the financial management and advise the FIFA Council on financial matters and asset management."

FIFA expects to bank more than $5 billion in the four-year commercial cycle tied to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Dominguez's predecessor in charge of the financial panel, Hayatou, was paid $500,000 for those "additional roles and responsibilities" on top of his $300,000 stipend as a FIFA Council member.

CONMEBOL press secretary Ariel Ramirez told The Associated Press that Dominguez is waiving the $500,000 payment.

Finance committee chairman is a key appointment in the new and smaller committee structure FIFA has introduced as part of modernizing and anti-corruption reforms enacted since American and Swiss federal investigations were revealed in May 2015.

All members of the nine standing committees had to pass an integrity check by a review panel after being proposed by FIFA and its stakeholders.

New members of that Governance Committee and Review Committee include the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, South African judge Navi Pillay.

Other members of the panel include German federation president Reinhard Grindel, who is in line to join the FIFA Council in May, and Joseph Weiler, a professor at New York University's law school.

The review committee's current work includes assessing the integrity of Vitaly Mutko, an eight-year member of the FIFA executive committee who is the Russian deputy prime minister and head of organising the 2018 World Cup. Mutko is seeking re-election to his FIFA seat in April while implicated in a Russian state program of doping and cover-ups across football and Olympic sports.

A revamped FIFA Stakeholders Committee overseeing increasingly wealthy and influential club football includes former Brazil defender Cafu and Edwin van der Sar, the former Netherlands and Manchester United goalkeeper who is now CEO at Dutch club Ajax.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has turned to his former employer, UEFA, for the new refereeing chief, with the appointment of 2002 World Cup official Pierluigi Collina.


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