Argentine FA faces possible FIFA ban

The snow-covered landscape is reflected in a logo in front of FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ASUNCION (Reuters) - FIFA warned the Argentine FA (AFA) on Wednesday it faces possible suspension if it does not accept South American soccer’s governing body CONMEBOL as arbiter in vetting candidates for AFA presidential elections.

The warning was made three weeks before Argentina’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia.

The AFA voted for a modification to an article in its new statutes last week naming the College of Lawyers of Buenos Aires and not CONMEBOL’s ethics committee as the vetting body of potential election candidates for the March 29 vote.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA and CONMEBOL said in a joint statement that all the region’s football federations recognised the South American body’s right to do the vetting.

“Failure to comply ... could result in a possible sanction, one option being a suspension for the AFA,” the statement said.

Argentina, who face Chile at home on March 23 and visit Bolivia five days later, are looking to climb from fifth place in the 10-nation South American group into the top four qualifying berths.

The team finishing fifth goes into a continental playoff. There are six rounds of matches to go.

Reporting by Daniela Desantis; Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Toby Davis