The former president of the Costa Rican Football Federation, Eduardo Li, accused the doorman on Monday Keylor Navas, of having threatened that matches would be intentionally lost if the Colombian Jorge luis pinto He was still the coach after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Li, who presided over the Federation in 2014, testified this Monday as a witness for the accused party in a trial for a complaint filed by the players Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges against the former officials Adrián Gutiérrez and Juan Carlos Román, for an alleged defamation.
The case dates back to 2018 when Gutiérrez said on Radio Monumental and Radio Columbia programs that those footballers had threatened, in a meeting in which he was not present, to deliberately lose matches if the Colombian Pinto continued as Costa Rica’s coach after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
This Monday, Eduardo Li pointed to Keylor Navas as the player who said that during a meeting they held after the World Cup ended and in which Ruiz, Borges and Álvaro Saborío were also present as team captains, as well as the then treasurer Rodolfo Villalobos, who is the current president of the Federation.
Li stated at the trial that in the meeting he told the players that the Federation’s intention was to renew Pinto and that was when, according to his version, Navas mentioned a clause in the coach’s contract that indicates that losing three consecutive games was cause to terminate the contract.
In addition, Li said that Bryan Ruiz communicated that he was willing to leave the team if Pinto remained in the position. The former federative president affirmed that only Navas mentioned the matter of losing matches.
The trial began last Friday in a court in San José and that day Navas, from Paris, and Ruiz testified, denying that they had intentionally threatened to lose matches and assured that the leaders’ statements affected their dignity and image.
Bryan Ruiz, the only one who recognized the facts
Ruiz did acknowledge that he communicated at that meeting that he would withdraw from the national team if Pinto continued because there was a lot of disrespect on the part of the coach towards the players.
This Monday Borges declared from Spain and for Tuesday he is scheduled to receive Pinto’s statement, also remotely.
In Brazil 2014, Costa Rica under the command of Pinto signed its most brilliant presentation in the World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals undefeatedly and being eliminated in the penalty shoot-out against the Netherlands.
After that World Cup, the Costa Rican Federation did not renew Pinto and the coach claimed that he had been betrayed.
Later there was a controversy, since several players reported to the press mistreatment and disrespect of the coach both towards the footballers and workers of the Federation.