Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
On Thursday, the world woke up to news match-fixing allegations. This time however, they hit much closer to home.
Late Wednesday night, the El Salvador Soccer Federation (FESFUT) released a statement on their website that said 22 players had been provisionally suspended from soccer-related activities for 30 days due to match-fixing allegations. During the 30 days, FESFUT will conduct an investigation on the matter.
From these 22 players, nearly all of them are members of the El Salvador National Team that recently competed at the 2013 Gold Cup, and the list includes talented forward Rodolfo Zelaya and captain Victor Turcios. In addition, six of the alleged players have spent time playing in the United States:
Osael Romero (Chivas USA, 2010), Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes, 2009-2010), Cristian Castillo (D.C. United, 2010), Eliseo Quintanilla (D.C. United, 2003-2004), Dennis Alas (Real Maryland Monarchs, 2008, brother of Earthquakes’ Jaime Alas), and Alfredo Pacheco (New York Red Bulls, 2009).
All but two players on the list, Turcios and Ramon Sanchez, play in the domestic leagues in El Salvador. Americans of El Salvadorean heritage who play for the El Salvador National Team such as Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy Ramos, former Chivas USA midfielder Gerson Mayen, and St. Johns alumnus goalkeeper Derby Carrillo were not included in the list.
CONCACAF released a statement on Thursday afternoon to back FESFUT in their investigation on the match-fixing allegations.
“CONCACAF is deeply saddened by these claims of match manipulation within the football community. The Confederation fully supports the Football Federation of El Salvador and other pertinent organizations involved in the above mentioned investigation and hopes for a fair due process in order to determine the validity of these accusations.”
It’s the second time this summer that a CONCACAF nation has been under the spotlight of match-fixing allegations. After the U.S. Men’s National Team match against Belize in Portland, Oregon, two Belize players revealed that they were offered bribes before the match but did not accept them.
What do you think of these allegations? Are you worried that any matches during the Gold Cup were fixed? Do you see CONCACAF and/or FIFA becoming involved in the investigation?
Share your thoughts below.