FC Dallas' Carlos Ruiz aims to run for Guatemala federation presidency
FC Dallas veteran Carlos "Pescadito" Ruiz has said he will run for president of the Guatemala football federation and fight for transparency within the sport in his home country.
Last week, a FIFA source told Reuters it will suspend the Guatemalan federation (Fedefut) due to a dispute over the committee overseeing the organisation.
"At this moment FIFA and CONCACAF are talking and shortly the decision will be reached which will be the suspension of Fedefut because of third party interference," Primo Corvaro, FIFA's head of member associations, told local media.
Ruiz, who retired from international football this year, said he would continue his involvement with the Guatemala players' association in the hopes of one day improving the federation.
"Guatemalan football is in crisis. FIFA has given them to Oct. 1 to appeal the decision, but sadly we are in crisis," the 37-year-old told Univision. "I have been part of the players' association for four years and have made more enemies than friends because I am defending a cause that not everyone agrees with."
The FIFA committee had been appointed following the arrest of former Fedefut president Brayan Jimenez, who pled guilty in July to charges in the United States related to the sale of football broadcast rights.
Ruiz said the federation would benefit from having former football players in its ranks and called for an end to corruption.
"The leaders have always been doctors, lawyers, architects and people who don't have a football background. So it is complicated. And the leaders, sadly, use the federation as a political springboard to get to the government posts," Ruiz said. "And some football league leaders use the teams to launder money. They are businessmen with dubious backgrounds.
"It is complicated at this time to improve Guatemalan football if the federation does not have transparency. I am going to fight for that transparency [as players' union rep] and one day I hope to preside over the federation."
Ruiz retired last month as his country's most capped player and all-time leading goalscorer. In his career, he found the back of the net 68 times in 133 appearances.
"I am proud of my record, although I would trade it all for the chance to see Guatemala at the World Cup," he said. "But I have given all that up, I have retired and now I am focused on trying to help Dallas win the MLS."
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