Whilst there are no doubt a few unscrupulous players in many sports that are guilty of trying to make extra money by fixing matches, it is unusual to find several at one club due to the high chance of someone finding out. However, that is the case with Argentina’s Primera C division team El Porvenir.
Four players have so far been fired with more being investigated after the keeper Diego Córdoba spoke to the hierarchy at the club about several of his teammates. Local newspaper La Nacion first reported the alleged offenses and how the owners have filed a complaint to local police in Lanus, Argentina who have launched an investigation. Club president Enrique Merelas made the announcement regarding his team, stating the players had allegedly received funds for affecting the outcome of seven games at least. They received money for scoring their own goals or conceding a set number of corners.
When he spoke to his team, several players confessed they had received funds in return for manipulating the outcome and let their teammates, who have not been implicated, determine their fate. The result was those who confessed were ejected from the team and passed to authorities.
The team is bottom of the league with no wins and these revelations certainly don’t help their cause, making people wonder if those players were even trying to win for the team or just lining their own pockets.
It has not been confirmed exactly how much each player earned for their actions, but it is reported that for some they received 12,000 pesos – around $108, whilst some may have netted them 100,000 pesos, or $900.
The complaint against them goes on to state one of the players had links to the illegal bettors and acted as the go-between. He would report back to the group about what they needed to do and when.
If the court finds them guilty, it is likely they will be barred from playing soccer in Argentina and anywhere else for life.
The team has previous when it comes to scandals as back in 2016 Merelas, who has been in charge at the club for over 40 years, was involved in a fight with a group of fans who demanded his resignation before physically attacking him. The police became involved at that time as well.
Just one of the people that attacked him was arrested in that instance.
At the tail end of 2021, after another club Villa Dalmine hosted Barracas Central in a title game, there was controversy when the away side won 3 – 1 to leave the home side out of the championship, leading to accusations that several home players had thrown the game by not trying hard enough.
Although police stated at the time there was not enough evidence to progress the accusation further, 16 players from the team had their contracts terminated.
We wait to see what the police response will be at this time.