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Argentine soccer association president Julio Grondona dies at 82

Argentina Grondona-1.jpg

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2010 file photo, Julio Grondona, president of the Argentine Football Association, stands behind the Copa America trophy during the draw of the groups' ceremony in La Plata, Argentina. Grondona was hospitalized on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, said national football authorities, who said he was "not feeing well." (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File) (The Associated Press)

South American soccer officials say that Julio Grondona, the longtime head of the Argentina Football Association, has died. He was 82.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the South American football confederation, CONMEBOL.

Grondona, a powerful ally of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, had been hospitalized earlier on Wednesday. Grondona, who was known as "The Godfather," had been the AFA's president since 1979.

He was also a FIFA senior vice president and head of FIFA's finance committee. He had announced that we would step down from his posts in 2015.