The El Salvador football players claim that they have been offered money to avoid a heavy loss in tonight's World Cup Qualifier against Canada. The revelation came as El Salvador captain Nelson Bonilla told reporters that the offer had come from a Salvadorian businessman last weekend.
Bonilla revealed that he had a tape recording of the interaction, which he played at the press conference in Vancouver. The 10-minute recording details various offers, $30 a minute should El Salvador beat Canada, $20 a minute for a draw, $10 should they lose by just a single goal, and nothing if they lose by more than two goals.
BREAKING. El Salvador players just ended a presser. They played a recording of a man that offered them money to beat Canada or lose by 1
— ANDRES CANTOR (@AndresCantorGOL) September 6, 2016
El Salvador cannot qualify but a heavy loss tonight could see Canada go through on goal difference, at the expense of Honduras. Honduras play already-qualified Mexico, and have a goal difference of 0. Canada have a goal difference of -5 meaning that should win by two or three while El Salvador lose by two or three, Canada would go through. Here's the table:
Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Grafica have named the alleged briber as Ricardo Padilla, who was speaking on behalf of a Honduran businessman. Padilla was quoted as saying,
Let them investigate, I’m not worried. Those who want to see it as something bad can see it that way and those who want to see it as something good then they can too.
El Salvador and Honduras have a lot of history, the two nations famously went to war in 1969 after an extremely hostile best of three matches. This latest development will do nothing to help relations between the two and El Salvador in particular presumably be careful to ensure transparency after 14 of their international players were banned for life for match-fixing.