More than four years ago, Claudio Tapia arrived at his first World Cup as president of the AFA troubled by Jorge Sampaoli’s relationship with the squad, without the support of a sector of the leadership that fantasized about keeping his position and with the then president. , Mauricio Macri, without giving him the slightest support. Four and a half years later, some issues have changed: the most important is that the squad has consolidated both sportingly and as a group, something that empowered it after several destabilization attempts.
Beyond the Scaloneta, during his Qatari journey, Tapia will probably have to surf other issues more linked to power than to the game: to the indifference that comes from the Casa Rosada, he must add the harshness that an eventual meeting with Macri could cause, now head of the FIFA Foundation and a well-oiled relationship with Gianni Infantino, to whom he promises –in private meetings– that an eventual return of his political wing to the leadership of the country would include a reset of the AFA and a privatization plan that is no longer underhanded as tried Fernando Marín between 2015 and 2019.
Unlike what happens in the Government, where some direct messages go down so that no official travels to Doha in the context of the economic crisis, Macri will walk through the capital of the country organizing the World Cup wearing the pass that gives him the highest position. in the Foundation of the entity.
The former president will observe matches from the official box, will have meetings with businessmen and different global executives and will supervise benefit meetings, almost the raison d’être of the body he directs from a distance. His first approach to the World Cup was not happy at all: he had to apologize for referring to the German team as “a superior race”.
On the other hand, the Minister of Economy Sergio Massa sent his team a “if I see them in the World Cup, I’ll kill them”, while Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero rejected an official invitation so as not to feed suspicion and criticism.
With Macri in Qatar and the ban on the official civil service, those around Tapia know that Chiqui will be the only possible dialogue in the event that Argentina advances in the tournament and the Government joins the wave of triumph.
This sporting result, in addition to moving the social and political ammeter for a few days, will have a direct impact on the economic future of the AFA, which proposed, some years ago, to install the “brand” of the National Team in the powerful Arab world. That silent work that the entity’s marketing manager, Leandro Petersen, put together, acquired some relevance in June, when Tapia signed the “strategic cooperation agreement” with the secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Aref Hamad Al Awani.
For this reason, Tapia will have meetings and lunches that could mean future income. In those meetings he may meet Macri, something that both sides would prefer to avoid.
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