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SBD Global/September 24, 2013/International Football

El Salvador Football Association Hands Out 14 Lifetime Bans For Match-Fixing

El Salvador's football federation has "banned 14 national-team players for life for their role in alleged match-fixing," including games against the U.S. and Mexico, according to ESPN. Among those banned Friday from all football activities were goalkeepers Miguel Montes and Dagoberto Portillo, Christian Castillo and William Osael Romero. The bans are connected with suspected match-fixing in four games involving the national team, including a 2-1 loss in an exhibition against the U.S. in '10 and a 5-0 loss to Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup. Carlos Carillo was acquitted (ESPN, 9/20). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw reported El Salvador FA President Carlos Mendez said that the sanctions "followed 'exhaustive' work." Mendez: "We have used valuable information which has come from interviews, video accounts from people who have had the strength to declare and help us find those people responsible." Central America, "where many players struggle financially, has become particularly susceptible to match-fixing." Last year, Guatemalan footballers Guillermo Ramirez, Gustavo Cabrera and Yony Flores "were banned for life." El Salvador has already been eliminated from next year's World Cup, "but that has not lessened the impact." The bans have "ripped the heart out of El Salvador football and the national federation is allowing a period of 15 days for the clubs affected to hire new players" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/23). DIEZ reported three of the four games "involving suspected match-fixing were played in the U.S." In addition to El Salvador's 2-1 loss to the U.S. in Tampa in Feb. '10, El Salvador's 1-0 loss to Major League Soccer side D.C. United was identified. The third time match-fixing occurred in the U.S. was during the 5-0 loss to Mexico in '11, which took place in Dallas. El Salvador's "other match-fixing charge comes from a 4-1 loss in a road friendly against Paraguay" in '12. A fifth game under investigation "was a friendly against Venezuela in May, which El Salvador lost 2-1" (DIEZ, 9/21).
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