This week, all eyes were on South American football, as 7 out of the 10 teams looked likely of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which is to be held in Russia. Eventually, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia earned direct tickets to Russia, while Peru looked more than happy with the 5th play-off spot.
While every match was mouth-watering, it was the Peru vs Colombia match in Lima District that booked the controversial headlines. Colombia striker Radamel Falcao came under scrutiny for telling opposition players to come easy and play for a draw, so that both teams could seal the qualifying spots.
El Tigre was even seen urging one of the Peru players to pass on the message to his other teammates, and the fearsome forward continued to make his point, and was listened to by a handful of the opposition players. Peru midfielder Renato Tapia has since admitted that the result of the match was indeed discussed between the match.
— Pasión Fútbol (@PasionFutbolFC) October 11, 2017
Just seen the video of Falcao running around telling all the peru players to play for a draw as they both will qualify 😂 surely matchfixing?
— Sean McComb (@sugarseantl) October 11, 2017
“In the last five minutes, the Colombians approached us. They knew what the situation was in the other games,” Tapia told the local TV (via Fox Sports Asia).
“So we managed the game as we needed to. I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both qualified (as things stood), but it’s football, and we play to win.”
Colombia and Monaco striker Falcao has also spoken about the controversy, by stating: “We knew what was happening in the other matches, we were playing with (the knowledge of) the other results and in that moment (I tried) to transmit that (to Peru).”
After this game ended 1-1, Copa America holders Chile were the ones condemned to miss out on a flight to Russia next summer.
Written by Himangshu Das
Following dream off the pitch by penning down all the latest happenings inside the world of the beautiful game known as Football, trying to make it big.. one day.