el salvador

FIFA has plenty of issues of its own doing to deal with, but there may be no more serious issue than what was announced on Monday by the players and coaching staff of the El Salvadorian national team.

According to reports, the El Salvadorian players were approached by match-fixers to throw its upcoming match against Canada in Group A of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The goal was to influence the outcome of the Group A standings, where either Honduras or Canada would join Mexico as the two teams to move on to the next phase of the qualification process.

The actual bribe came down to what Honduras actually needed to qualify itself.

With Honduras needing a loss by Canada or a win by less than two goals and a win for itself over Mexico, apparently the Salvadoran players were supposed to fix the match for the needed result in favor of Honduras. According to a report by ESPN, the players were approached on Saturday about potentially throwing the match.

“Players from the national football team revealed this [Monday] afternoon in a news conference a recording of a Salvador businessman Ricardo Padilla offering them “prizes” to win, draw or even lose against their Canada counterparts.

“The news conference took place while in the team’s camp in Vancouver, Canada, where tomorrow [Tuesday] a game will take place against the North American opponents.

“According to Padilla, he is acting in representation of a Honduras millionaire that wanted to guarantee the qualification of the Catracha [Honduras] national team.”

The players did not take the bribe, which in total could’ve amounted to $3,000 per player had they gone through with the match-fixing scheme.

This scheme was an elaborate one, including payment based on the results per minute per reports:

All of this was not only just said via the press conference, it was also from the mouth of the person approaching the team. That’s because the group ended up recording the conversation, playing it for the press on Monday night.

It will be interesting to see what measures CONCACAF take against the former club president and influential businessmen involved. Most importantly, what measures will CONCACAF take to protect its players from these types of approaches in the future?

[BBC]

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!