Grondona with CONMEBOL vice-president Eugenio Figueredo in July. Protestors have targeted the AFA chief after learning of the delay to the season (Getty Images)

(WFI) The start of the Argentina league football season is delayed
indefinitely because many clubs are struggling with heavy debts with
some not able to pay players.

The Argentine Football Association has decided to delay the Aug. 14 kick-off until a resolution is found. Second division clubs have had the start of their season put on hold for the same reasons.

AFA president Julio Grondona said there would be no football played “for the time being” because no agreement was reached on players’ salaries owed by Argentine soccer clubs at a meeting with the Federal Administration of Public Revenue and the Argentine Soccer Players’ Union.

The announcement follows fruitless efforts by Grondona, a FIFA senior vice president, to secure more financing from television rights.

A squeezing of club finances due to the worldwide recession and less money coming in transfer fees from European clubs have contributed to the economic woes of leading clubs such as River Plate, Racing Club and Independiente.

He said the only solution to help ease clubs’ debts was an increase in revenues for television rights.

“The television could collaborate to give soccer what it’s really worth it,” Grondona was quoted by the Buenos Aires Herald.

Grondona was the target of protests Wednesday when the AFA headquarters in central Buenos Aires were attacked by about 100 angry football fans demonstrating at the delay to kick-off of the new season.

The AFA said Wednesday that the issue would not affect the participation of Argentinian clubs in the upcoming Copa Sudamericana, the regional South Americas tournament.

Written by Mark Bisson

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