Uruguayan football has lost its leadership with little more than two months before its national team is to compete in the World Cup.

The entire executive committee of the Uruguayan Football Association quit on Monday in a crisis that also involves President Jose Mujica and the football players union.

It seems nonsensical to me that the executive committee resigns two months before the World Cup, because the big loser here could be the national team

Edgar Welker, VP, Penarol team

Uruguay's clubs will try to designate a temporary committee to lead the country's football until the end of the World Cup, Welker said, adding that the crisis should not affect the leadership of the national team's coach, Oscar Washington Tabarez.

"It seems nonsensical to me that the executive committee resigns two months before the World Cup, because the big loser here could be the national team,'' Edgar Welker, vice president of the Penarol team, told The Associated Press.

The crisis blew up when Mujica abruptly withdrew police protection on Thursday from the home stadiums of Penarol and Nacional, the most popular teams in Uruguay, after Nacional fans injured 40 police officers in postgame violence the night before.

"We cannot continue in this irrationality, accepting human stupidity, we need to react urgently,'' the president said.

Uruguay's football federation and its clubs decided to play Saturday's games anyway, but the players pulled out Sunday, saying they wouldn't be safe without police in the stadiums.

Citing unidentified sources, the El Pais newspaper suggested that FIFA could be investigating the resignations and could suspend Uruguay from the World Cup if it determined Mujica put political pressure on the committee.

Source: AP