New AFA chief plans Lionel Messi talks and promises swift coach appointment

  Lionel Messi
 
The Argentine FA (AFA)'s acting head Armando Perez plans to ask Lionel Messi to reconsider his international retirement and said a new national coach will be appointed soon.

Messi, 29, announced he would not play for his country again after he missed a penalty during a shootout defeat to Chile in last month's Copa America Centenario defeat, in what was a third consecutive loss in a major international final.
The situation was complicated by chaos at the AFA, amid ongoing investigations into financial improprieties at various levels in the Argentine game, national coach Gerardo Martino resigning, and poor preparation for the upcoming Olympic football tournament.
Belgrano club president Armando Perez has been appointed chief of a FIFA-appointed "Comision Regularizadora" ("Normalising Commission") within the AFA, with AFA federal board president Pablo Toviggino telling ESPN radio that his brief is to "put everything in order and make the changes FIFA demanded."
Perez told Radio La Red that he would work to ensure a new coach was appointed as a matter of urgency.
"I don't have a preferred choice for new national coach, but the decision should be made quickly," he said. "We hope to get it right."

Bielsa
 
Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa, who resigned as coach of Lazio just two days after being appointed earlier this month, has been strongly linked with a return to the post he held between 1998 and 2006.
Perez did not confirm any names, but said an appointment was close, and he would also be consulting with former national coaches Cesar Luis Menotti and Carlos Bilardo.
"A new national coach is the most important thing," he said. "We will decide among us all, and it will be sorted quickly. The views of Menotti and Bilardo will be vital. I am open to learning from them."
Perez said persuading Messi -- along with Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero -- to continue playing for Argentina is also prominent on his list of tasks.
"How would I not call Messi? How would I not ask him what he thinks? I want to get together with Mascherano to see what they think. About staying on," Perez said.
He also told reporters that he could not imagine Messi would never play for his country again but would be patient while the Barcelona star makes his decision.
"I do not imagine a national team without [Messi]," he said. "Nobody does. But we must respect the time-frames of each person."

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