May 3 – Former El Salvador head coach Ramon Maradiaga has been handed a two-year ban from all football activities by FIFA for allegedly failing to report a match-fixing attempt.
FIFA said Maradiaga, a Honduran who played for his country in the 1982 World Cup, had “allowed and failed to report” a meeting in which a third party offered the players “financial compensation” in exchange for fixing the result.
The suspension relates to events before a World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and Canada in September 2016.
El Salvador were bottom of their four-team group and had already been eliminated for places at this summer’s finals in Russia. They lost the match 3-1 but a heavier defeat could have potentially allowed Canada to finish above Honduras and progress to the next stage of Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying competition on goal difference. In the end Canada failed to progress after Honduras drew 0-0 away to Mexico.
In 2013, El Salvador banned 14 international players for life for match-fixing, including some of their best-known and most experienced names and once again the country has become embroiled in corrupt practises.
A statement released by FIFA announced that Maradiaga had violated regulations relating to bribery and corruption, along with those concerning duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting.
“The investigation against Mr Maradiaga opened on 18 July 2017, on the basis, inter alia, of a report from the FIFA Integrity Department,” FIFA’s statement read.
“Based on the report, the investigatory chamber investigated and analysed Mr Maradiaga’s involvement in an attempt to manipulate matches, allowing and not reporting a meeting held between the players of the national team of El Salvador and a third party, in which financial compensation was promised to the players in exchange for their altering the result of the game between El Salvador and Canada.
“The offer was rejected and reported by the players of the national team of El Salvador via a press conference on September 5, 2016.”
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