Posted on: March 31, 2022, 08:11h.
Last updated on: March 31, 2022, 08:11h.
Soccer players on an Argentinian team are causing the team, and the soccer community, unnecessary grief. At least four El Porvenir players are hanging up their cleats after their ejection due to potential match-fixing.
Argentina’s El Porvenir soccer team. Several members of the team are out following accusations they helped fix games in which they played. (Image: Depo)
There’s nothing inherently wrong with athletes betting on sports, but restrictions are in place for a good reason. No one wants to have to respond to accusations that a player threw a game. This results in many sports leagues banning the option completely.
Not everyone plays by the rules, though, on or off the field. El Porvenir, an Argentinian soccer team, is putting out fires following revelations that several of its players may have helped coerce the outcome of games.
Players Out Over Sports Bets
The incident began after El Porvenir goalkeeper Diego Córdoba told the top leader of the club what was happening with some teammates. The team, which plays in Argentina’s Primera C division, sent four players allegedly involved packing, according to La Nacion. However, there could be more to fall.
The board of directors of El Porvenir filed a complaint to a police station in Lanús, Argentina, in order to launch an investigation. The president of the club, Enrique Merelas, announced the scandal earlier this week.
The four players reportedly received money for swaying the outcome of at least seven games. They were paid for scoring goals against or for throwing the ball to a corner a certain number of times.
The issue exploded after several players confessed that they had received money to manipulate the games. Teammates who had not participated in the scam kicked them out of the dressing room following the revelations.
So far, the team has not won any matches and is in last place, so their antics didn’t support the team. According to witnesses, there were confusing or unusual occurrences in the games in which the athletes participated that triggered suspicions.
Details regarding how much the players earned are still sketchy. In some instances, they may have received 12,000 pesos (US$108.11) and in others, as much as 100,000 (US$900.90).
Unraveling the Illegal Activity
According to the complaint, one of the players was the link with the illegal bettors. In principle, he was the one who led the group and told the others how to act. If the disciplinary court proves that the players received money, they will not be able to play soccer anymore, in Argentina or anywhere in the world.
It is not the first time that El Porvenir has had to deal with a scandal. In 2016, Merelas, in charge of the club for more than 40 years, starred in a fight with several people who demanded his resignation before attacking him physically. The episode required the intervention of the police.
The conflict was reportedly rife with insults and grievances. Police officers arrested one of those who attacked Merelas.
At the end of last year, there was a controversy in the match in which Villa Dalmine hosted Barracas Central in the First National title game. In the visitor’s 3-1 win, accusations flew that several players from Dalmine received bribes not to exert themselves.
That led to a complaint, but the case did not move forward. However, the board of directors terminated the contracts of 16 players after Dalmine finished its participation in the championship.