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Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, has promised to end the involvement of drug traffickers in the country’s football clubs.  For many years, drug lords and paramilitary squads have had strong links with the sport in Colombia. 

 

‘Either we change football, or football is finished for us’, president Santos said last week during the presentation of the Awards for Colombia’s Sportspersons of the Year. ‘We'll put a brake on any kind of macabre association between delinquents and sports clubs.’

 

‘This is not going to be a witch hunt, because we know the majority of the football directors are good people. But we want to eliminate any chance of bad apples being entrenched in this sport.’

 

Santos put forward the idea of organizing a so-called Day of Prosperity Agreements on football, a day to discuss the needs and solutions to the problems of football in Colombia.Currently, the Congress is handling a bill to establish that each professional football club is going to be transformed into a limited liability company, to secure more financial transparency, and to prevent the entry of illicit funds in this sport.

 

Earlier this year, the Colombian footballers’ association Acolfutpro called for a drastic change in the country’s football. In September, chairman Carlos González Puche stated: ‘If professional football in Colombia is to survive and make significant progress, the clubs must adopt a clear and democratic structure and become financially transparent.’ 

 

 

 

 Five of Colombia's Primera A clubs are under investigation for allegedly laundering money for drug traffickers, the national police force has said. According to colombiareports.com, national police chief General Oscar Naranjo told media that Bogota team Santa Fe and four others were under investigation.

 

‘There are at least four more investigations all over the country’, said Naranjo, adding that he hopes that the police investigations will ‘save Colombian soccer’ which has long been implicated in money laundering for the country's drug traffickers. The Colombian Soccer Federation had considered suspending Santa Fe in October over its suspected involvement in laundering drug money.