Soccer-Argentine FA set to go ahead with 30-team top flight

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Argentina's proposed 30-team first division championship, brainchild of the late soccer chief Julio Grondona, looks set to go ahead provided TV match broadcasters give approval. A transition championship lasting five months from February will have 30 teams divided into two groups, Grondona's successor Luis Segura said on Tuesday, with the 10 extra teams promoted from the second-tier Primera B Nacional this December. The AFA, which currently runs a 20-team top flight, wants to maintain an August-June season aligned with Europe's transfer windows given that most of Argentina's best players play for clubs in the major European leagues. "The idea is for the calendar to coincide with Europe's. First we'll hold a tournament until August and then another lasting a year," Segura told a news conference. Segura said final approval rested with Futbol Para Todos (soccer for all), the state television programme that broadcasts matches and provides the AFA with a big part of its revenue. The season-long 30-team championship will start in the second half of 2015 with relegation parameters yet to be fixed and long term plans aimed at gradually reducing it to between 20 and 24 teams. Grondona, who died in July, dreamt up the plan as a means of bringing more teams from the provinces into the first division and broaden his power base. (Writing by Rex Gowar in London. Editing by Patrick Johnston)