The soccer scandal that sank the image of CONCACAF continues to add chapters from Honduras and Suriname: the man who recorded the video explained why he did it, the coach of the Central American club offered his resignation and part of the Surinamese press believes that Ronnie Brunswijk, the country’s vice-president and axis of the scandal, should apologize.
“After three years, (Brunswijk) will be back on the field when a CONCACAF match is played in Suriname. Then he will break his own record,” Joel “Bordo” Martinus, the man who recorded the video, told the Surinamese newspaper “Starnieuws.”
Concacaf (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football), one of FIFA’s six confederations, announced this weekend the disqualification of Inter Moengotapoe of Suriname and Olimpia of Honduras after a match in Paramaribo in which Brunswijk was seen handing out money in the locker room of the Hondurans, who had won 6-0.
Brunswijk, 60, is president and owner of Inter and played 55 minutes of the match. He is also the vice-president of Suriname, and on the night of the match he was in charge of the presidency due to a trip by the president. At his age, he was the oldest person to have made his debut in an official soccer match.
Martinus pointed out that he filmed and posted the video on social media because he considered that the handing over of the money was in appreciation of the Hondurans’ presence in Suriname, and that there was no intention to bribe the players or ask them for a favor.
He added that precisely because there was nothing wrong behind it, he posted it on Facebook. Martinus is a local soccer club owner, TV entertainer and politician, a man with legal problems who performs live on social media as an artist and rapper.
Martinus considered that Inter Moengo Tapoe is spared “a possible humiliation” by not being allowed to play the second leg in Tegucigalpa. The game would have been played on Tuesday, September 28. The first leg a week ago ended 6-0 in favor of the visitors.
CONCACAF identified “serious integrity violations” after the match and disqualified and removed both clubs from the league “with immediate effect”.
Brunswijk was banned from participating in Concacaf competitions for three years. The regional soccer body warned that it will continue to investigate the matter “and other possible persons involved,” while reserving the right to refer any additional evidence to its Disciplinary Committee.
Olimpia’s Argentine coach Pedro Troglio, who clarified that he was not in the locker room at the time Brunswijk entered with the briefcase of dollars, reacted on his social networks after learning of the punishment.
“Sincerely we are hurt with what happened. This situation not generated by us overcame us. As the head of the delegation, I put at the disposal of the club the decision they wish to take. We have lived beautiful years as not to continue being friends. Hold on, Olimpia,” wrote Troglio.
According to the Honduran press, Aquiles Mata, the Costa Rican lawyer contacted by Olimpia, said that the club is evaluating whether to appeal the resolution, which he understands “has a series of flaws”.
“But until the club gives me light in that sense I could not act,” he added. “I feel that there is a bad analysis of the discharge made by the Committee, a bad reading of the affidavit given by some players,” Mata mentioned. “There is time, if they decide to appeal we will do it, I think there are many grounds for it, this is an unprecedented issue,” he added.
The Concacaf Disciplinary Committee is chaired by Costa Rican Margarita Echeverría.
According to the sports media “Diez”, the collateral damage caused by the expulsion of the champion Olimpia will result in millions of dollars in losses for the club’s coffers.
Along with the “stained name” due to what happened in the dressing room of the Paramaribo stadium, Olimpia will stop receiving money from Concacaf for its participation in the tournament and will lose the possibility of entering the next edition of the regional “Champions”.
The squad will also be affected by not receiving any cash from television rights, while the players will lose a window to show themselves internationally and be seen by agents.
In addition, coach Troglio is left with the pending task of achieving his first international result after his three domestic tournaments won in Honduras.
The Surinamese media “De Ware Tijd” strongly criticized the performance of vice-president Brunswijk and drew attention to the passivity of the Surinamese Football Association (SVB).
“All the great sporting successes of Surinamese athletes in recent years are overshadowed by the negative image of which Brunswijk is the cause,” he wrote. “In this context, he should at least apologize to the people of Suriname (...).