Reports in Uruguay claim that the South American country’s World Cup place could be in danger after the board of its soccer association, the AUF, resigned following the Uruguayan government’s decision to withdraw police protection at games involving Penarol and Nacional, the country’s two biggest clubs, because of fan violence. In separate reports on their Web sites, the newspapers El Pais and El Observador said that FIFA might interpret the decision by Uruguayan President Jose Mujica as interfering in soccer matters, which could lead the world governing body to suspend the AUF and Uruguay from all international competitions.
Mujica decided to withdraw police protection after Nacional fans fought police at the end of their team's 4-2 home defeat by Argentina's Newell's Old Boys in a Copa Libertadores game in Montevideo last Wednesday. While 40 arrests were made, several police officers and supporters were reportedly injured. FIFA is not currently investigating the decision of the AUF to step down, which means that Uruguay’s World Cup place is safe, for now.
Uruguay was drawn in World Cup Group D, alongside England, Italy and Costa Rica.