Worries for All Whites as Chile mull appeal of Peru-Colombia Fifa World Cup qualifier result
All Whites preparations to play Peru may be thrown into disarray with Chile reported to be considering an appeal over the controversial finish to the South American team's final regional Fifa World Cup qualifier.
Peru and Colombia drew 1-1 while Chile lost 3-0 to Brazil on the final day of matches in the talent-stacked zone earlier in the week.
Those results saw Chile finish sixth and eliminated in the South American group. Peru ended up fifth with their hopes of making Russia 2018 still alive as they face a home and away intercontinental play-off against Oceania champions New Zealand in November.
But the Peru result has been under a cloud of suspicion after players from Peru and Colombia were seen talking in the final minutes, supposedly about playing out a draw that kept both teams in the World Cup frame.
According to Chilean daily La Tercera, and reported by South American sports site AS on Friday (NZT), the Chile Football Federation (ANFP) is considering an appeal against their elimination from qualifying, believing a case of match-fixing could be investigated.
They said Chile can refer to paragraph 6.3.2 of Fifa's guidelines on match-fixing, which covers "unlawfully influencing the course or results of matches".
The punishment for such an offence, as revealed in the text, includes "expulsion from a competition, relegation to a lower division, a points deduction and /or the return of awards".
Colombia's Radamel Falcao allegedly told Peru's Renato Tapia and others of the qualifying situation as their match petered out, with Peru's players passing the ball around their defence and midfield uncontested, both teams simply awaiting the final whistle.
"In the last five minutes, the Colombians approached us. They knew what the situation was in the other games," Tapia told Panamericana TV station in a subsequent interview.
"So we managed the game as we needed to … I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both qualified (as things stood), but it's football and we play to win."
Asked by Colombian media in the mixed zone after the match what he'd said to Peru's captain Paolo Guerrero, Falcao said: "We knew what was happening in the other matches, we were playing with (the knowledge of) the other results and in that moment (I tried) to transmit that (to Peru)."
But one of Peru's coaching staff, Nolberto Solano, the former Newcastle United winger, dismissed any suggestions of a pact between the teams.
"We needed to win, them too. What pact? That's speculation," he told RPP radio station.
"Obviously, at the end, we knew what the other results were and you tell yourself: 'calm it down a bit, we mustn't take any risks'."