Uruguay's Football Association resigns over violence at games

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Fans of Uruguay's Penarol clash during the Uruguayan first division football derby against Nacional, at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo on November 24, 2013.Image source, AFP
Image caption,
President Jose Mujica withdrew police protection from the home stadiums of Penarol and Nacional following post-match violence

The entire board of Uruguay's Football Association has resigned amid a crisis over violence at matches.

The board said it had taken the decision to "allow other political views to govern our football".

Last week, President Jose Mujica withdrew police protection from the home stadiums of Penarol and Nacional, Uruguay's most popular teams, following post-match violence.

On Wednesday, Nacional fans fought with police after their team was beaten.

Dozens of officers were injured in clashes with supporters in the capital, Montevideo.

Despite the lack of security following the police withdrawal, the association ordered teams to play their matches as usual. However, the players' union refused.

The association's board wrote 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."

Analysts have suggested that Uruguay could be barred from this summer's World Cup in Brazil if world football governing body, Fifa, decides there has been political interference.

But Eugenio Figueredo, the president of South American football's governing body Conmebol, said he did not believe Fifa would take this step.

"I don't think Uruguay's place at the World Cup is at risk," he told Reuters news agency.

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