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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Apr 1, 2014

Uruguay FA resigns after violence

Nacional fans clashed with police last week.
Nacional fans clashed with police last week.

Uruguay's participation at the 2014 World Cup is not at risk despite the board of the country's Football Association having resigned, according to the president of South American football's governing body CONMEBOL.

The decision came on Monday amid a crisis over violence at football games after Nacional fans injured 40 police officers last Wednesday.

The violence led to President Jose Mujica withdrawing police protection from the home stadiums of Penarol and Nacional.

Despite the lack of security, the following round of matches were ordered to go ahead as planned, only for the players to refuse due to concerns over safety -- and further matches this week have been postponed.

Confirming its resignation, the association's board said in a letter: "The well-publicised acts that have occurred in recent times show the need for [the board to] step aside and allow other political views to govern our football.

"The Executive Board has worked with the sole objective to benefit our football and, today, there is a clear perception that it's an obstacle to continue with this line of work."

Edgar Welker, vice president of the Penarol soccer team, told The Associated Press: "It seems nonsensical to me that the executive committee resigns two months before the World Cup, because the big loser here could be the national team."

After all five leaders of the federation's executive committee quit, the country's leading newspaper, El Pais, raised the question of whether the development could threaten Uruguay's participation in the World Cup, which begins June 13 in Brazil.

However, Eugenio Figueredo, the president of South American football's governing body CONMEBOL, told Reuters, according to the BBC: "I don't think Uruguay's place at the World Cup is at risk."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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