Today in the morning in statements under oath, the former leader of the Costa Rican Soccer Federation Eduardo Li, recounted the details of conversations held with several World Cup players after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a cup in which Costa Rica had its best participation in its history reaching the quarterfinals. During this competition the coach of the national team was Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto.
Despite the good results, the relationship of those the players with the national coach were quite bad. The first group alleging harassment and abusive treatment by the trainer and the second alleging together with his technical team conspiracies and indiscipline on the part of the Costa Rican team.
Today Eduardo Li, now a former Fedefutbol leader, testified in favor of the defendants Adrián Gutiérrez and Juan Carlos Román, whom Keylor Navas, Celso Borges and Bryan Ruiz accuse of defamation, for statements made to the press. Saying that the players were willing to lose games. To force the departure of Jorge Luis Pinto from his position as technical director of the national team.
According to what Eduardo Li said, the players questioned him what his intention was with respect to Pinto. To which Li replied that he intended to keep him in his post. Li goes on to say that in response to his response, Bryan Ruiz said that then it was better not to be summoned to join the National Team again. Li responded by telling him that that was fine on his part. But that he (Ruíz) came out to the press saying that he did not want to be called up to the national team again.
According to Li, the discussion continued to become more tense and then he goes on to say. “I remember perfectly that it was Keylor Navas who told me: We lose three games in a row and there is a clause like this and like this …” (Clause in Pinto’s contract that would force him to leave the national team in case of losing three games in a row)
Li goes on to say that he was surprised that players knew the details of this clause within a confidential contract.
What do the players say?
The players who have also testified under oath have denied the allegations of conspiring to lose matches, however they do not deny the clear enmity between them and the national team’s technical director at the time. They allege that the technician invaded private spaces, organized their personal lives and treated them in a derogatory manner.
They also claim that statements to the press about “the intention to fix matches” have a very negative effect on their careers, reputation and international projection.