Did Radamel Falcao Tell Peru To Play For A Draw In World Cup Qualifier?

The Colombian has got some explaining to do…

Radamel Falcao celebrates
Radamel Falcao celebrates. But what has he been up to? Image Getty

On June 25 1982, Austria and West Germany were at the centre of one of the biggest scandals to ever grace a World Cup finals.

Dubbed the Disgrace of Gijon, the incident saw the two teams play out a 1-0 West Germany win, knowing full well that the result would see both teams safely through to the knockout phase of the tournament at the expense of an exciting Algeria side.

Algeria had beaten Chile 3-2 the day before but had an inferior goal difference to both sides. Germany needed a win, but Austria needed to only lose by one goal to progress at group winners. A seemingly unspoken pact was evidently made.

The result prompted a change in World Cup rules, with all final group stage fixtures played simultaneously to ensure a repeat never occurred.

Now, 35 years on, a similar World Cup scandal is in danger of erupting on the South American stage.It all focuses around Colombia striker Radamel Falcao and footage seemingly showing the forward urging opponents Peru to go easy in the final few minutes.

 

The two teams were drawing 1-1 at that point and, with other results going their way, were both looking good to progress to the World Cup finals.

Colombia would gain the fourth, final, automatic qualification space while Peru would progress to a winnable playoff with Oceania minnows New Zealand.

Up until Falcao was seen speaking to players, Peru were on the attack, but after his mysterious exchange, the team seemed happy to sit back and play for the draw.

A win for either side would have seen Copa America holders Chile earn a play-off place but, as a result of the draw they missed out entirely with talismanic midfielder Arturo Vidal retiring from international duty in the immediate aftermath of the game.

Paraguay would have also had a chance at progressing but fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to bottom side Venezuela.

Were Colombia and Peru within their rights to play for a draw or were their alleged actions on a par with the Disgrace of Gijon? It’s difficult to say but, at the very least, Falcao has got some explaining to do.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.