September 6 – El Salvador have been plunged into a match-fixing scandal after revealing they turned down the offer of a bribe to lose to Canada in tonight’s World Cup qualifier in Vancouver.
According to the BBC, a number of players “played an audio recording of a person allegedly asking them to lose”.
El Salvador cannot reach the final stage of regional qualifying after picking up just two points in their first five matches but Canada have a slim chance of progressing provided they win and Mexico, who boast a 100% record, thrash Honduras to bring about a five-goal swing.
At a news conference, El Salvador team members played an audio recording of the person allegedly making the bribe and claimed the voice from the recording was that of Salvadoran businessman Ricardo Padilla, who is allegedly working on behalf of an unnamed Honduran.
The El Salvador players were reportedly promised $30 for each minute played in a win, $20 for each minute played in a draw, $15 for each minute played in a 1-0 loss, and nothing if the team loses by two goals or more.
Both El Salvador and Canada have an unsavoury history of match-fixing in recent years, but it sees the current crop of El Salvadorean players are not as manipulable as their predecessors.
In 2013 and 2014 FIFA banned 22 El Salvador national team players for life from football after investigations conducted by the El Salvador FA into incidents of match manipulation that occurred in international matches, including friendlies and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, of the El Salvador national “A” team in 2010.
Further north, the Canadian professional league is reckoned to have more than 40% of its games showing instances of possible match-fixing in a report written in 2015 – that report has since mysteriously disappeared during the election of Canadian Victor Montagliani to the presidency of CONCACAF.
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