By Abdulkabir Olatunji I have this tendency to pick-up things…
Radamel Falcao is in the middle of a match manipulation scandal after he was caught on camera communicating with opposing Peru players apparently telling them to leave things as they were in his team’s 1-1 draw on Wednesday which guaranteed Colombia’s qualification and Peru’s ticket to an intercontinental play-off against New Zealand.
There were a lot of permutations and calculations on the night as South American (CONMEBOL) teams as well as those under CONCACAF completed their World Cup qualifying round.
Falcao admitted to telling Peruvian players to play for the 1-1 draw after he got word of other results that could affect both team’s chances of qualifying for Russia 2018.
Renato Tapia one of Peru’s players Falcao spoke to told Panamericana TV: “In the last five minutes, the Colombians approached us. They knew what the situation was in the other games. So we managed the game as we needed to… I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both qualified, but it’s football and we play to win.”
It is unclear whether the Peruvians followed Falcao’s advice because a winning goal would have seen them qualify directly for the World Cup while the Colombians would have dropped into the play-off spot.
A heavy defeat for Colombia in that match would have favoured Chile who lost 3-0 to Brazil and got knocked-out of the Play-off zone on goal difference by Peru.
See the video of Falcao and the Peru players:
There are rumours that Chile may ask FIFA to sanction both Colombia and Peru or ask for a replay. However, Vice President of Chile’s Football Association, Andres Fazio Molina said to Blu Radio on Thursday: “it is a baseless rumor, no measure will be taken against Peru and Colombia.”
FIFA may have to come-up with stricter rules on this kind of thing as it obviously goes against the spirit of fair-play as they have also been suggestions that Mexico might have been influenced on the pitch to allow Honduras win their game 3-2 to get an intercontinental play-off spot against Australia from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at the expense of the United States who lost 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago.