El Salvador’s national football team have alleged they refused a bribe to fix Tuesday’s World Cup 2018 qualifier against Canada.
El Salvador have no chance of progressing in the qualification campaign but Canada need to win the match in Vancouver and hope Mexico defeat Honduras to stand a chance of making Russia in 2018.
All four countries are members of CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football), whose former presidents Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb were both arrested as part of the FIFA corruption case in 2015.
In a dramatic press conference, member of the El Salvador team played an audio recording of a person offering various incentives to fix the game, which could have reached $3,000 per player.
The tape was a ten-minute conversation where the players were offered various amounts of money depending on the result and the number of minutes played by each player, from $30 a minute for a win to $10 a minute for a 1-0 defeat.
Captain Nelson Bonilla told reporters: “In reference to what we heard, we want to make it clear that we are against anything of this kind.
“We want to be transparent about everything that has happened with the national team.”
It is not the first time El Salvador have been involved in a match-fixing scandal as 14 internationals were banned for life in 2013.
The man alleged to have made the offer by Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Grafica is businessman Ricardo Padilla and they quoted him as saying there is nothing wrong with the offer.
He told the newspaper: “Let them investigate, I’m not too worried.
“Those who want to see it as something bad can see it that way, and those who want to see it as something good then they can too.”
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