After Chile just missed out on the 2018 World Cup under controversial circumstances, fans of La Roja have decided to not take their defeat quietly. That denial stems from the fact that both Colombia’s Radamel Falcao and Peru’s Renato Tapia admitted to discussing a draw during their key qualifier match, a result that would see both countries advance at the expense of Chile.
With FIFA showing a lack of interest in the situation and the Chilean federation admitting that they will not seek an investigation, a few fans have taken matters into their own hands. One supporter, David Ramirez, took to change.org and started a petition for FIFA to disqualify both Colombia and Peru for match fixing. Ramirez cites FIFA’s match-fixing rule 6.3.2, which states, “Anyone who attempts to conspire or conspires to influence the course or result of a match in a manner contrary to sporting ethics should be sanctioned.” The rule also says that “serious offenses may be sanctioned with expulsion from a competition, relegation to a lower division, a points deduction and/or the return of awards.
Ramirez is calling for FIFA to acknowledge that the two CONEBOL sides broke this rule, and to take action against them. To date, his petition has 6,006 of his desired 7,500 signatures.
Ramirez isn’t alone in his crusade against this perceived injustice; Luis Mariano Rendón, a lawyer from Chile, has sent FIFA documents hoping to have a case opened. “The complaint is already filed, everything has been faxed, but now I will send a postal mail so that there is no pretext that they did not receive anything,” said Rendón.
With what appears to him as clear evidence, the Chilean lawyer is confident that FIFA will rule on this subject and get La Roja into the World Cup. “This is a mega-scandal, the images speak for themselves, it’s unlikely that nothing will be done,” said the lawyer to La Tercera.
FIFA has yet to publicly acknowledge the incident and any potential action against Colombia and Peru. One thing that’s not really up for debate is whether Falcao and Tapia discussed the outcome of the match; both players have admitted to it, and there’s clear video evidence that Falcao was talking with Peruvians towards the end of the match. What isn’t clear is whether the result was at all affected by the discussion, or whether both teams let their foot off the gas because they realized that a draw was enough. If it’s the former, it could be a scandal, but it’s more likely that it’s the second, more innocent result.