Bolivia’s top two soccer tournaments canceled due to alleged match-fixing

BARRIO (Washington Post) – LA PAZ, Bolivia — Bolivia’s soccer federation canceled two professional tournaments on Tuesday due to an alleged scheme of match-fixing involving referees, players and club executives.

The decision to cancel the tournaments came after a meeting of a soccer council in the region of Santa Cruz. All 17 clubs of Bolivia’s first division took part in the meeting, and 14 agreed to stop the two competitions.

Two clubs were against it and one abstained.

The decision follows Monday’s move by Bolivia’s soccer body to bring charges to the country’s public prosecutor’s office.

The majority of top-flight Bolivian clubs also fired the three members of the country’s refereeing commission — Alejandro Mancilla, Wilson Estrada and Juan Carlos Cardozo.

Some Bolivian club executives said in separate statements that some of their players were also caught in the scheme, without revealing their names.

Bolivia’s soccer body said it will ask the region’s governing body CONMEBOL to organize a quick competition until the end of December to replace the canceled tournaments involving the country’s first and second divisions.

Fernando Costa, the president of country’s soccer body, said on Aug. 30 there was “a web of corruption” in Bolivian soccer that included referees, players and club executives, but did not give names.

Local media published on Monday several recordings that were interpreted as confirmation of his charges.

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