Paraguayan Football Association
Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol logo.svg
Founded1906; 117 years ago (1906)
FIFA affiliation1925
CONMEBOL affiliation1921
PresidentRobert Harrison[1]

The Paraguayan Football Association (Spanish: Asociación Paraguaya de Futbol [asosjaˈsjom paɾaˈɣwaʝa ðe ˈfuðβol]; APF) (Guarani: Paraguái Mangapy Atyguasu), is the omnibus[disambiguation needed] governing body of football in Paraguay.[2] It organizes the Paraguayan football league, including futsal and beach soccer, as well as and the Paraguay national football team. It is based in the city of Luque, near the capital city, Asunción. Football is the most popular sport in Paraguay.[2]


In the late 1890s William Paats brought soccer to Paraguay, when it was then played at an Asunción teacher’s college. Escuela Normal de Maestros.[2][3]

In 1906, five existing Paraguayan football teams (Olimpia, Guaraní, Libertad, General Díaz, and Nacional) created the governing body of football in Paraguay, the Paraguayan Football League.[2] In 1998 it adopted its current name.[2] In June 18, 1906,[4] the representatives of the five existing football teams in Paraguay at that time (Olimpia, Guaraní, Libertad, General Díaz, and Nacional) met to establish the Paraguayan Football League, named Liga Paraguaya de Football Association.[5] The first match was played on a Sunday, July 8, 1906.[6] Adolfo Riquelme, who was a well known Paraguayan journalist, was the organization’s first president.[2]

In 1921, during the presidency of Enrique Pinho, the Paraguayan Football League joined the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).[7] In 1925 it became a member of FIFA.[2][8][3]

In 1941 it changed its name to Liga Paraguaya de Football and in 1957 the name was Hispanicized as Liga Paraguaya de Fútbol.[9]

On December 3, 1998, its name was changed to its current denomination, Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol,[2][5] which coincidentally is one of the names that had been adopted by a dissident football association that brought together some teams, which would later join the League, and which organized championships between 1911 and 1917.[4]

In 2016, APF appointed Robert Harrison, the former head of Club Nacional, as president.[10] Harrison succeeded Alejandro Domínguez, who resigned to run for president of CONMEBOL, after Juan Ángel Napout stepped down from that role in December 2015.[10]

In 2019, APF hired Argentinian Eduardo Berizzo as manager of the Paraguay's national men's team.[11]

Paraguay have not previously hosted the FIFA World Cup. In August 2022, APF joined up with the football associations of Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile to jointly bid to host the World Cup in 2030.[12][13]

Institutional Succession

From its foundation in 1906 until it adopted its final name in 1998, the APF followed the following institutional trajectory::

Founded: 18 June 1906[14]
Liga Paraguaya de Football Association (LPFA)[15]
Affiliation to the Conmebol: 1921[16]
The Paraguayan Football League becomes a member of the South American Football Confederation, during the presidency of Enrique Pinho.
Afiliación a la FIFA: 1925
The LPF joins the Member Associations of the International Federation of Association Football.
Change of name: 1941
Paraguayan Football League


Castellanisation: 1957
Paraguayan Football League


Change of name: December 1998[17]
Paraguayan Football Association



The Paraguay national team appeared in the World Cup finals eight times, reaching the quarter finals in the world FIFA event in South Africa (2010), losing to the eventual tournament victor, a Spanish team.[2]

The Club Olimpia has been indomitable: 38 Paraguayan championship titles; 3 in the Copa Libertadores — the continental South American soccer tournament (1979, 1990, 2002); and Intercontinental cup.[2]

Leadership and staff


Liga Paraguaya de Football Association

Name Period
Dr. Adolfo Riquelme 1906–1908
Dr. Eusebio Ayala 1908–1909
Don William Paats 1909–1910
Don Emilio Mantera 1910–1910
Don Junio Quinto Godoi 1910–1911
Don Alejandro Gatti 1911–1913
Dr. Enrique L. Pinho 1913–1923
Dr. Juan Manuel Álvarez 1923–1924
Dr. Esteban Semidei 1924–1926
Prof. Dr. Adriano Irala 1926–1928
Don Manuel Bedoya 1928–1931
Don Juan Pablo Gorostiaga 1931–1932
Dr. Ignacio L. Parra 1932–1932
Dr. Francisco Esculies 1935–1936
Don Ramón T. Cartes 1936–1937
Don Manuel Galiano 1937–1938
Dr. Juan Arturo Lavigne 1939–1940
Cnel. Sampson Harrison 1940–1940

Liga Paraguaya de Football

Name Period
Dr. Manuel Bedoya 1941–1941
Dr. Julio César Airaldi 1942–1944
Dr. Crispín Insaurralde 1944–1945
Don Fulgencio R. Moreno 1945–1946
Don Oscar Pinho Insfrán 1946–1947
Dr. Lorenzo N. Livieres 1947–1948
Clte. Ramón Martino 1948–1948
Dr. Blas A. Dos Santos 1948–1950
Don Lidio Quevedo 1950–1951
Dr. Blas A. Dos Santos 1951–1952
Dr. Alfonso Capurro 1952–1954
Don Lidio Quevedo 1954–1955
Dr. Raimundo Paniagua 1955–1956
Dr. Alfonso Capurro 1956–1957

Liga Paraguaya de Fútbol

Name Period
Dr. Pedro Recalde 1957–1957
Dr. Ernesto Gavilán 1958–1959
Dr. Hassel Aguilar Sosa 1959–1960
Dr. Tulio Manuel Quiroz 1960–1961
Dr. Manuel Duarte Pallarés 1961–1963
Dr. Anastacio Mendoza Sánchez 1963–1965
Dr. Jerónimo Angulo Gastón 1965–1967
Cnel. Raúl Fernández 1967–1968
Don Juan Antonio Sosa Gautier 1969–1970
Dr. Nicolás Leoz 1971–1972
Don Humberto Domínguez Dibb 1973–1976
Don Oscar Barchini 1977–1979
Dr. Nicolás Leoz 1979–1984
Don Jesús Manuel Pallarés 1985–1994
Esc. Oscar J. Harrison 1994–1998

Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol

Name Period
Esc. Oscar J. Harrison 1998–2007
Lic. Juan Ángel Napout 2007–2014
Lic. Alejandro Domínguez 2014–2016
Lic. Ramón González Daher 2016
Lic. Robert Harrison 2016–Present

Association staff (2022)

Name Position
Paraguay Robert Harrison President
Paraguay Carlos Sosa Vice President
Paraguay Javier Díaz de Vivar 2nd Vice President
Paraguay Luis Kanonnikoff General Secretary
Paraguay Hugo Kuroki Treasurer
Paraguay Douglas Martínez Technical Director
Argentina Guillermo Barrios Schelotto Team Coach (Men's)
Brazil Marcello Frigerio Team Coach (Women's)
Paraguay Fernando Ortiz Media/Communications Manager
Paraguay Jose Luis Alder Futsal Coordinator
Paraguay Cynthia Franco

Argentina Horacio Elizondo

Referee Coordinator

Paraguayan football league system

Main article: Paraguayan football league system

The football in Paraguay has four levels in men's tournaments (five in the interior of the country) and one division in women's tournaments.[20] The Paraguayan Football Association with an affiliated association called the Interior Football Union (UFI) -which consists of 17 federations, one for each department of the country, excluding the city of Asunción-, organizes the different championships.[21]

The most popular football teams in Paraguay are Olimpia,[3] Cerro Porteño, Guaraní, Libertad and Nacional. All of them are from Asunción.[22]

The Supercopa Paraguay is a national cup played since 2021.[23] It is single match, on a neutral field that faces the champion of Primera División and the champion of Copa Paraguay, a competition created in 2018 with teams of all categories, including the federations that belong to UFI.[24]

There is also a category for the reserve of the football teams called Categoría Reserva[25] and then the formative divisions from 14 to 19 years.[26] The women’s division also has a U-18 category.[27]

Regarding futsal, it is organized in four categories: a premium league, the Honor Category, Primera and Intermedia.[28][29] There is also a category for women.[30]

The APF also organizes two beach soccer championships, the Tournament of Stars[31] and the Women’s Beach Soccer Tournament.[32]


The freedom of players to be contractually released and transfer between clubs and negotiate contracts (commonly called a "buyout clause") has been controversial, and subject to both scholarly inquiry and legal proceedings.[33][34][35][36]

See also


  1. ^ "El Presidente | A.P.F. | Asociación Paraguaya de Futbol". Archived from the original on 12 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Dunmore, Tom (16 September 2011). Historical Dictionary of Soccer. Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Incorporated, Scarecrow Press. pp. 56. 191, 196. ISBN 9780810871885.((cite book)): CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  3. ^ a b c Lewis, Rhett (28 September 2021). "Club Olimpia: Paraguay's Most Successful Soccer Club". History Of Soccer. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b Karel, Stokkermans. "Paraguay - League History 1906-1964". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Suplemento 116 Años de la APF by Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol". (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Una historia de 114 años: El primer partido oficial del fútbol paraguayo". Versus (in Spanish). 9 July 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Un símbolo del fútbol paraguayo cumple cien años". OneFootball (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Planet World Cup - Nations - Paraguay". Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Aniversario de la APF". ABC Color (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Robert Harrison, nuevo presidente del fútbol paraguayo". Associated Press (in Spanish). 26 April 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  11. ^ "Paraguay name Berizzo as national soccer team coach". Xinhua News Agency. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2022 – via Gale OneFile.
  12. ^ "Ukraine join Spain and Portugal's joint-bid to host the 2030 World Cup, but who else is in the running?". Sky Sports. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  13. ^ "Together for the «South American dream» of the 2030 World Cup". Conmebol. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  14. ^ "Celebran 115 años de fundación de la Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol". Mayoría (in Spanish). 18 June 2021. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  15. ^ "El frenesí por el football se expandía - Deportes - ABC Color". (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  16. ^ "La Asociación celebra 110 años de pasión por el fútbol". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol - EcuRed". (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Historia de la APF". Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol (in Spanish).
  19. ^ "Paraguayan Football Association - FIFA". Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  20. ^ "Un club de mujeres indígenas se incorpora a la liga del fútbol femenino en Paraguay". France 24. 19 January 2022. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  21. ^ Béstard, Miguel Ángel. "80 años de Fútbol en Paraguay". Portal Guarani (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  22. ^ "¿Es Olimpia el club con más hinchas de Paraguay?". Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Se viene la Supercopa del fútbol paraguayo". Diario HOY (in Spanish). 15 January 2021. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  24. ^ "La Copa Paraguay ya tiene formato". (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Cambio de timón en la cima de Reserva". ABC Color (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Vuelven las Divisiones Formativas". (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  27. ^ "Cerro y Sol, líderes en la Sub 18 de Femenino". ABC Color (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  28. ^ "Cerro Porteño y Olimpia, la definición de la Liga Premium". ABC Color (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  29. ^ "En marcha el torneo de Honor de futsal". (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  30. ^ "Fútbol Femenino en Paraguay: avanza el Torneo Apertura con ejes en la profesionalización y la igualdad de derechos". NEA HOY (in Spanish). 10 May 2022. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  31. ^ "Torneo de las Estrellas de Fútbol Playa". ABC Color (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  32. ^ "Areguá, campeón femenino en fútbol playa". ABC Color (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  33. ^ Hylton, J. Gordon (2017). "How FIFA Used the Principle of Autonomy of Sport to Shield Corruption in the Sepp Blatter Era". Md. J. Int'l L. 32: 134. Retrieved 31 October 2022 – via Of course, unlike the case in Greece earlier ... [in 2016 - 2017], FIFA had not threatened to suspend the Paraguayan Football Association ...
  34. ^ "Article 19 RSTP, a Right Step in the Transfer Policy Jurisprudence". 1 J. For Sports L. Pol'y & Governance. 12. 2018–2019. Retrieved 31 October 2022 – via
  35. ^ Antonio, Miguel; Zunini, Laterza. "El "Caso Pitta" y la (in)ejecutabilidad automática de las "cláusulas de rescisión" en el fútbol paraguayo" (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 October 2022. With the current regulations of the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) it is impossible the automatic execution of the compensatory clauses due to anticipated contractual breakdown (buy-out clauses), because with the simple opposition of the employer club, the exit operation of a player it is extended in time and is subject to the decision of a judge outside the parties. Therefore, this work will attempt to demonstrate the imperative need to have aspecific federative regulation to implement a summary administrative procedure to materialize the automatic release of players who are in a position to execute clauses of this type. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  36. ^ Kfouri, ByJuca; de São Paulo, Folha (2016). "7: Impunity and corruption in South American football governance". Global Corruption (eBook) (1st, Imprint ed.). Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315695709-16. ISBN 9781315695709.

Further reading