HomeNewsBriefCharges Against El Salvador Soccer Players Dismissed
BRIEF

Charges Against El Salvador Soccer Players Dismissed

EL SALVADOR / 3 APR 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

An El Salvador judge has exonerated several former players from the country’s national soccer team of money laundering charges even though they apparently accepted money to fix matches, sending a message of impunity to players and international criminals alike.

On March 27, Judge Ernesto Pineda exonerated 11 players of criminal charges for accepting money for match fixing, declaring that such behavior “does not constitute the crime of money laundering” under El Salvador’s criminal codes, reported El Faro.

Of the 11 players facing charges, 10 received lifetime bans by El Salvador’s soccer federation in September 2013, with the eleventh player suspended for 18 months from professional play. The players allegedly fixed four Salvadoran national team matches between 2010 and 2012; three were played in the United States, and one in Paraguay.

While Judge Pineda said the players “attacked the dignity of the homeland,” he added that their actions would nonetheless stay “in the sphere of morals and conscience.”

An indefinite legal stay was also issued for three foreigners implicated in the match fixing -- two Nicaraguans and a Malian.

InSight Crime Analysis

When the news first broke, this was a massive and embarrassing scandal. Soccer teams, no matter the size of the country, are the source of pride (and often shame) throughout the world. 

They are also a source of crime. As InSight Crime has chronicled, it is common for criminal groups to have relationships with local soccer teams. The teams can help them launder money, and they often buy them social capital in their areas of operation. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Soccer and Organized Crime

As this case shows, they have another purpose as well: manipulation of international gambling houses. In this instance, the Salvadoran players apparently accepted $10,000 each from a Singaporean criminal named Dan Tan to throw the matches in question -- one of which was a friendly match against DC United played at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC.

Finding the players innocent on a technicality will only further these criminal ends. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL SALVADOR / 31 MAR 2022

Between July 2021 and February 2022, the government of President Nayib Bukele released four top leaders of the MS13 in…

ELITES AND CRIME / 19 OCT 2021

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro's aggressive reaction to the extradition of accused money launderer and ally Álex Saab – who appeared…

CHINA AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

While the involvement of Chinese money-laundering rings in handling drug proceeds from Mexico is nothing new, a number of recent…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…