KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: El Salvador has suspended for life 14 international footballers – including some of the most experienced in the country’s history – in the wake of a matchfixing inquiry.
Three players have been banned for short terms while a further seven have had temporary bans extended pending further investigations into a game against Venezuela earlier this year. One player was cleared.
The 14 include veterans such as Marvin Gonzalez (83 caps), Denis Alas (81), William Osael Romero (78) and Ramon Sanchez (77) who have been stalwarts of the national team over the past decade.
FESFUT expects the suspensions to be confirmed worldwide, in due course, by international federation FIFA.
Matches which had been manipulated included a Gold Cup clash with Mexico in 2011 and friendlies against DC United and the United States in 2010 and against Paraguay earlier this year.
The first accusations emerged towards the end of July this year when El Salvador defenders Mardoqueo Henríquez and González were named by local media as having blown the whistle on team-mates for fixing the 2-1 defeat by the US in 2010.
In August some 22 El Salvador players were suspended provisionally pending further inquiries. The latest punishments are the second step in the process launched by the federation acting together with the attorney-general’s office.
The fixer has been identified as Armando Jose Collado Lanuza, a defender and midfielder of Nicaragua/El Salvador background. He played for Nicaragua’s national team and for a variety of clubs including Real Esteli, Alacranes del Norte (formerly Nejapa FC) and America Managua.
In 2009, when his career was halted by serious injury, he ‘crossed the line’ after apparently being compromised by Wilson Raj Perumal, the notorious runner for southeast Asian gambling rings.
A string of suspected matches have been linked to Collado, starting with a friendly between Nicaragua and Guatemala on September 4, 2010, in Miami. Collado’s involvement would have gone unreported except that one of the players was not paid. He went to the Nicaraguan federation (FENIFUT) which extracted confessions from the others in return for an amnesty.
The El Salvador match fixes have been linked to Collado who banned banned from football for life in January 2011 by the Nicaraguan federation. Subsequently FIFA ratified the ban worldwide.
After the latest suspensions were announced, federation president Carlos Mendez outlined the reasoning for the punishments and appealed for anyone with further information to come forward.
He said: “The work of the disciplinary commission has been exhaustive, and all types of information revealed in interviews has been taken into account, as well as videos and testimony of persons who have showed the valor to testify in search of those responsible in match fixing of national team games, in order to arrive at definitive and concrete decisions.
“To dishonour the jersey of the country in this way, signifies nothing less than failure to comply with the representation bestowed.
“For that reason we want to set an example to current and future generations so that they will remain alert and not allow themselves to become involved in negative undertakings, wasting years of dedication and sacrifice for football, and ending their sporting careers at the same time they destroy the energetic support of the tremendous fan base our country has.
“The work is not finished . . . We have the support of authorities from FIFA, CONCACAF, UNCAF, the Attorney General of the Republic, and we look for everyone’s support; from the fans themselves, and anyone who wishes to join our efforts.”
The 14 banned for life were:
Miguel Angel Montes Moreno
Jose Mardoqueo Henriquez Dubon
Dennis Jhonathan Alas Morales
Dagoberto Portillo Gamero
Luis Alonso Anaya
Alfredo Alberto Pacheco
Marin Rene Gonzalez Leiva
Darwin Doromis Bonilla
Reynaldo Antonio Hernandez
Christian Giovanni Castillo Martinez
William Oael Romero Castillo
Ramon Alfredo Sanchez Paredes
Jose Miguel Granadino Leon
Ramon Ulises Flores Aguirre
Banned for 18 months:
Carlos Romeo Monteagudo Alfaro
Banned for six months:
Victor Samuel Turcios Pacheco
Eliseo Quintanilla Ortiz
Provisional bans extended pending further inquiries:
Denji Oldai Villalobos Salgado
Rodrigo Alejandro Martinez
Rodolfo Antonio Zelaya Garcia
Emerson David Umana Corleto
Yimy Rodrigo Cuellar Leon
Alexander Escobar Rosales
Christian Alexander Sanchez Viscarra
Carlos Josue Carrillo Chopin