LIMA: Ricardo Gareca has agreed a three-year contract extension as national coach of Peru despite a crisis at the head of the football federation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Senior officials in both Peru and Colombia have been implicated in separate World Cup ticketing scandals.
Garcea, a 60-year-old Argentinian, guided Peru this year to the World Cup finals for the first time in 36 years. He was celebrated as a hero despite the team’s elimination in the group stage.
His contract will be extended for a further year if Peru qualify for the 2022 finals in Qatar.
Gareca’s contract renewal had been largely overshadowed by a scandal within the federation over allegations that president Edwin Oviedo gave World Cup tickets to a judge who helped rule him out of a murder inquiry.
Oviedo is among local businessmen and politicians entangled in telephone taps published by local media in which judges appear to using their positions to secure favours.
Supreme Court Judge Cesar Hinostroza had appeared to be arranging to receive tickets for the World Cup from Oviedo.
Hinostroza, who is now under investigation for undue influence, was one of five judges who approved a ruling that excluded Oviedo from a murder inquiry two years ago.
Prosecutors had suspected Oviedo, despite his denials, of leading a criminal gang that killed workers of his former sugar company.
Colombia, too . . .
A World Cup tickets scandal also surrounds Ramon Jesuran, the president of the Colombian federation who is a member of the governing council of world federation FIFA and a vice-president of South American authority CONMEBOL.
Under investigation, along with Jesuran, are predecessor Luis Bedoya, senior official Alvaro Gonzalez Alzate, former league supremo Jorge Perdomo, Cartagena club owner Rodrigo Rendon Cano, son Rodrigo Rendon Ruiz and ticketing operators Ticketshop and TicketYa.com.
The investigation concerns tickets for eight of the nine home ties in the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition. Investigators have alleged that an illicit $4.5m was skimmed off the resale of 42,221 tickets, some at more than 300pc above face value.
Lead investigator Felipe Robledo told a press conference that individuals within the Colombian federation had controlled the scheme.
Bedoya, who has been banned for life by FIFA, was one of those who pleaded guilty in the FIFAgate scandal and is still in the United States awaiting sentence after negotiating a plea bargain.
Jerusan is considered to have played an important role in the appointment by FIFA of Colombian Claudia Maria Rojas as ethics investigations chief in succession Cornel Borbely. He has denied had denied all wrongdoing.