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FIFA bans El Salvador coach for two years for role in match-fixing case

Ramon Maradiaga
Ramon Maradiaga has been banned for two years for his role in a match-fixing probe.

FIFA has banned a former El Salvador coach for two years for his role in offering players money to perform well in a World Cup qualifying game, thereby helping his native Honduras.

The ethics committee found Ramon Maradiaga guilty of bribery and corruption and failing to report the plot.

According to the findings, El Salvador's players were offered cash by a third party if they managed to win -- or at least avoid losing by more than two goals -- in a qualifier against Canada because a three-goal victory risked helping Canada progress ahead of Honduras.

However, El Salvador players revealed the cash offer at a news conference before the game in Vancouver, which Canada won 3-1. Honduras ultimately did not qualify for the World Cup, losing an intercontinental playoff against Australia in November.

FIFA said Maradiaga let the meeting happen "in which financial compensation was promised to the players in exchange for their altering the result of the game between El Salvador and Canada." It is against FIFA rules for third parties to offer cash incentives to teams.

Maradiaga, who was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000), captained Honduras at the 1982 World Cup, the first time the nation qualified for the tournament.

He left his post with El Salvador two days after the game against Canada.

A previous match-fixing scandal forced El Salvador to rebuild its national team for the 2018 qualifying program.

FIFA imposed a range of lifetime bans and other suspensions on players who were involved in fixing games, including a 5-0 loss to Mexico at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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