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EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF 04

THE CHOSEN PEA 06

THE OPEN VEINS OF AMERICAN SOCCER 08

THE ODYSSEY 14 EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: CAMILO RODRÍGUEZ

ART DIRECTOR: DANIEL RAMÍREZ

EDITOR: JUAN MESA

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: JUAN PABLO GARNHAM, JUAN CAMILO LATORRE, ÁLVARO CASTELLANOS, LUCIANO WERNICKE

W H O DO E S W H AT
CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: JOAO POMBEIRO | behance.net/joaopombeiro | CARLOS SANABRIA | behance.net/carlos_sanabria |
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

RYAN GAJDA | sundaydogparade.com | DANIEL RAMÍREZ | danielramirez.work |

CONTRIBUTING TRANSLATOR AND EDITOR: MARLENA GITTLEMAN

ISSUE 1
COVER: RYAN GAJDA

ADVISOR: CAMILO QUIROZ

SPECIAL THANKS TO LUCIANO WERNICKE AND SUDAQUIA EDITORES

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, GEORGE CAMPBELL

BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA - OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA


TWITTER: @elescorpion95
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/REVISTA.EL.ESCORPION/
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FIFAGATE: WHEN JUSTICE SHOCKED SOCCER IN THE AMERICAS 16

NOBODY’S PERFECT 20

DIABLO’S GOSPEL 22

02 CONTENTS & WHO DOES WHAT


COLLAGE BY JOAO POMBEIRO

LOOTING SOCCER IN
3 THE AMERICAS
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

1 2 3 4
NEVER AS HE CAN

ISSUE 1
CRUSHING THE WHERE DEATH
UNDERESTIMATE UNVEIL A LIVES OF ONCE- BECOMES THE
2 A CAT LOVER SCHEME OF POWERFUL MEN ONLY SAFE
UNDER FIRE BRIBERIES FOR HAVEN
Chuck Blazer: former
MYRIAD GAINS By December 3, 2015,
there were 39 indivi-
CONCACAF General Se- duals facing the US De- Julio Grondona: Pre-
cretary and member of The initial allegations partment of Justice. 13 sident of the Argenti-
the FIFA Executive Com- against Blazer targeted defendants were CON- ne Football Federation
mittee. In 2011, Blazer, briberies for World Cup CACAF members, 15 (AFA) for 35 years and
a US native, became an bids. Once he opened were part of CONME- a FIFA Vice President
FBI informant after alle- his mouth, investigators BOL, and 11 owned or since 1988. He is named
gations of corruption found that CONCACAF worked for sports mar- Co-Conspirator #1 in
against him in CONCA- and CONMEBOL officials keting and broadcasting the DOJ file. Grondona
CAF and FIFA alerted had illegally negotia- companies. Some of the died at 82 in July 2014,
national authorities. ted TV rights and other officials involved were just 7 months before
The New Yorker amas- commercial deals with heads of their countries’ Secretary of Justice Lo-
sed a fortune through sports marketing and soccer federations or retta Lynch announced
commissions, which broadcasting executives held higher positions the first indictments in
since 1990. Most crimi- within them for years, Brooklyn. He was con-
1 helped him maintain a
lavish lifestyle that in- nal activities were ca- even decades. Their ave- sidered by many to be
cluded an apartment for rried out on US soil. The rage age is 62. the most powerful man
his cats in Manhattan’s rights for Copa América in CONMEBOL and the
Trump Tower. His con- Centenario 2016—to be mastermind behind the
viction was made public played in the United Sta- TV rights scheme.
in 2015, two years after tes this summer—were
he pleaded guilty. part of the scheme.

04 EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF


TEXT BY ALVARO CASTELLANOS

1988
CHICHARITO’S TIME

At 27, Chicharito is leaving up to the hype of


his early days in Chivas. The striker found re-
J AV I E R “ C H I C H A R I T O ” H E R N Á N D E Z I S T H E E P I T O M E O F demption with Bayer Leverkusen after being
dumped by Manchester United and bullied for
A S O C C E R F A M I LY M A R K E D F O R G L O R Y.
his permanent stay on Real Madrid’s bench
for the 2014-2015 season. It’s in the Bundes-
liga team where CH7 has emerged as a leader
and attacking reference with his first 20 plus
goals season in Europe. His current form is
good news for his national team heading into
Copa América Centenario and the qualifiers
for Russia 2018 World Cup. A continental tro-
phy will give Chicharito’s the main throne in
the Mexican soccer pantheon, one tier above
Hugo Sánchez, Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Anto-
nio “Tota” Carvajal.
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

ISSUE 1
1931
THE GRANDFATHER:
TOMÁS BALCÁZAR
1961
THE FATHER: JAVIER
The father of Chicharito’s mother played for
Chivas Guadalajara, mostly known as Chivas,
HERNÁNDEZ GUTIÉRREZ
between 1948 and 1958, scoring over 50
goals. He wasn’t a prolific striker but got re-
cognition for his powerful headers. Balcázar
played for México in 1954 Switzerland World The original Chícharo—Spanish for “pea,”
Cup and scored a goal against France, a feat his a nickname he earned because of his round
grandson emulated in 2010 when México beat green eyes—was a versatile and charismatic
Les Blues 2-0 in the group stage. After retiring attacking midfielder who played for Tecos,
as a player, Balcázar joined the coaching staff Puebla, Morelia between 1981 and 1999, win-
of the Chivas team that would get known as ning three national championships. He was
El campeonísimo after winning seven league a member of the Mexican national team that
titles in nine years and many other trophies. hosted the 1986 World Cup and reached the
quarterfinals although he didn’t have played
a single minute. Before 2010 World Cup, Her-
nández Gutiérrez made the news for quitting
his job as Chivas’ reserves coach after the club
denied him a licence to accompany his son to
South Africa. “Work is secondary”, said Chí-
charo at that time.

06 THE CHOSEN PEA


ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL RAMÍREZ TEXT BY JUAN PABLO GARNHAM

OPEN VEINS
of American Soccer
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

ISSUE 1
A FT E R MORE T HA N 40 Y E A RS OF COVE RI N G SOCC E R I N T H E
UN I T E D STAT E S, JOURN A LI ST PAUL GA RDN E R T E LLS I T L I K E I T
I S: T HE SPORT ’S B I GGE ST MI STA K E HA S B E E N N OT E M BRACI N G
HI SPA N I C TA LE N T.

08 THE OPEN VEINS OF AMERICAN SOCCER


orge Luis Rafael Videla’s dictatorship. Everything money came. Eventually, the reporter
Borges added up, and, for Gardner, it was de- ended up on America’s leading TV ne-
told him finitively one of the most exciting soc- tworks.
that he was cer moments in his life. The experience He served as the half-time commen-
going to be likely also contributed to what he sees tator of Pelé’s debut in the United Sta-
happy when as an undeniable truth: the value of the tes when the New York Cosmos faced
everything Latin American soccer tradition. the Dallas Tornados at a packed sta-
was over. dium on Randall’s Island. “It was one of
“I can hear *** the few stadiums that actually looked
them,” the blind like a soccer stadium, but the field was
writer said to Paul Gardner says that he doesn’t know pretty bad,” he recalls. “It had patches
Paul Gardner at how he ended up as one of the first of dirt and, so that it wouldn’t look ugly
his apartment in soccer journalists in the United States, on TV, the mud was painted green.” The
the center of Bue- working for NBC, CBS, ABC, and ESPN, field was later demolished, in 2002.
nos Aires, surroun- and writing for Sports Illustrated, The “There was something about that
ded by books and New York Times, The Guardian, and the game that was to become typical of soc-
flanked by his white Daily News, among others. He has pro- cer in the U.S. The guy whom they got to
cat Beppo. It was 1978, and the streets duced documentaries, published books, do the commentary was English, and it
were getting noisy. Borges could hear covered World Cups, and written more was obvious that he got the job becau-
the fans’ excitement growing as their se he was English. He
national team advanced through the didn’t know anything
World Cup stages. about soccer,” Gard-
“I did get him to speak about soccer,”
Gardner, a sports writer for more than
HE SAYS HE WOULD LIKE ner says. “But he had
an English accent, so
forty years, remembers in Bistro Ci-
tron restaurant on New York’s Upper TO SEE LATINO SOCCER that was enough.”
That phenomenon,
West Side. “Borges said, ‘Besides, Gardner comments,
it is all a colossal waste of money… JOURNALISTS SPEAKING is something that he
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

We need hospitals, we need all the- noted not only with re-
se things.’ He was still an Argentina
fan, though.” UP LIKE JORGE RAMOS–THE porters, but also with
coaches, and it is one
Gardner’s World Cup experien- that lingers today. “That
UNIVISIÓN ANCHORMAN

ISSUE 1
ce turned out to be much better business of having peo-
than Borges’s. He had gone to Ar- ple with English accents
gentina to report on the tourna-
ment, and he attended most of WHO STOOD UP TO DONALD involved is still very
much around here, and it
Pelé after his final game for the New York Cosmos. “He taught
the games. Plus, he got to meet is part of what I see as a
the iconic Argentine writer. “It
was the first World Cup that I
TRUMP–HAS DONE. major part of the problem
with the sport,” he says.
me a lot about the Latin game,” Gardner states.

covered as a journalist,” Gard- “I tremble when I think of


ner recalls. “From start to fini- these guys being coaches
sh I found it full of interest, excitement, than a thousand columns for Soccer for young Hispanic players, which the *** suddenly I had the greatest player in the ming up, it would have been probably
and pretty good soccer overall. I got my America. majority of them are. They don’t know, world telling me to use my fucking toe if in the eighties. They asked him, ‘Who do
eyes opened in a lot of different ways.” “This was all luck, it happened wi- they don’t understand, they don’t want Gardner met Pelé years before he arri- I want to,” he says. “He told me several you think is going to win?’ He said ‘Us,
He had already been in Argentina thout my planning,” the 85-year-old to understand, and they don’t feel they ved in New York City, when O Rei was things like that, which contradicted as- because we have more picardía’,” Gard-
the year before, and he interviewed Cé- reporter says. He had studied to be a need to understand anything about La- playing for São Paulo’s Santos. “He sumptions that I made, fixed ideas that ner says. “It’s this kind of trickery, cun-
sar Luis Menotti, the coach that would pharmacist back home in England, fo- tin [American] soccer.” taught me a lot about the Latin game,” I had in my mind”. ningness. It verges into cheating, and it
later lead the host nation to victory. “I llowing in his father’s footsteps. Howe- He knows that he is part of the pro- Gardner says, as he remembers filming It was Pelé who helped Gardner to also verges with artistry. It is trickery,
would talk to the taxi drivers, bar peo- ver, that led to pharmacology writing, blem, but he has tried to be part of the the documentary Pelé: The Master and get rid of this baggage. The English ba- it’s deception, it’s being clever, it’s snea-
ple, kids in the street, and they thought which led to medical writing, which solution, too. Throughout his career, His Method in Brazil, where the legend ggage. According to Gardner, there are kiness.”
they wouldn’t win, and they were alre- eventually led to leaving England for Gardner has written columns and en- stages his set of skills. two elements that you can trace to Sou- Maradona’s goals against England
ady blaming Menotti,” he says. “Menot- New York in the early sixties, where he couraged the United States soccer es- Gardner would work with Pelé to get th America that make football beautiful. in the Mexico 1986 World Cup–the
ti was confident, but he was about the began writing about American sports. tablishment to embrace the Hispanic the best shot, and that included correc- The first one is artistry. Hand of God and the one he dribbled
only person that I spoke to down there Once, on his way back to the United Sta- community. He says he would like to ting the legendary footballer. On one “I do not like the idea of watching past five players from midfield–are the
who was confident.” tes from a trip to Italy, he stopped over see Latino soccer journalists speaking opportunity, Gardner told the Brazilian soccer anymore that doesn’t have ar- best examples of picardía and artistry
A year later Menotti’s squad, led by in London. up like Jorge Ramos–the Univisión that he should repeat the play, becau- tists in it,” Gardner says. “The artistry . Gardner witnessed them in person at
Mario Alberto Kempes, made its way to “There I had lunch with my former anchorman who stood up to Donald se he was using his toe to kick the ball. is so important, and in the United Sta- Estadio Azteca.
the top. “They slowly built up as they pharmacology editor. We weren’t inte- Trump–has done. “What’s wrong with that?” Pelé said. tes we don’t have it. And you are never “Those are the things Latin Americans
were winning. And they were playing rested in football [soccer], but he said “But there is a problem here: when “That is not what you do, you don’t going to get artistry from a coach like admire, and you can admire those
very attractively. They were all worth to me, ‘Well, this is a good time for you you are on the outside, which is the way tell kids to use their toes,” Gardner re- Klinsmann. He is a self-made player. He things,” he says. “We completely lack
watching,” Gardner says. to go back to New York,’ ” Gardner re- Hispanics generally must feel in this plied. didn’t have any skill; he had no natural that, and we are not going to get them
Then there was the celebration. counts. “I didn’t know what he was tal- country, and, certainly, in the soccer “You use what you use,” Pelé said. talent at all. He built himself to become under Klinsmann. This is an essential
Thousands of people flooded the streets king about. It was the beginning of the community, if you get invited to come “This is invention.” a top scorer, and that is all he was. But thing to me. If I could do one move, it
of downtown Buenos Aires, staging a NASL, the league that would bring Pelé.” inside, that is considered a great honor,” This totally changed Gardner’s mind. the artists are in South America.” would be to fire Klinsmann.”
wild party that served as a temporary Back in New York, Gardner started Gardner adds. “And then, unfortunately, “Growing up in England, it was conside- The second element comes from a Ma- Gardner claims he also saw the two
reprieve from the struggles of Jorge writing about soccer. When Pelé came, you don’t behave like Jorge Ramos does.” red a capital crime to use your toe, and radona quote. “There was a game co- elements in another of the most exci-

10 THE OPEN VEINS OF AMERICAN SOCCER


Gardner speaks after receiving the 2010 Colin Jose Media Award from the
National Soccer Hall of Fame. Howard C. Smith / isiphotos.com

ting moments of his career, when he finally met a sto-


ried youth team from Bolivia: Academia Tahuichi Agui-
lera. When he was in Spain for the 1982 World Cup,
they were there too, but he couldn’t see them because
of work commitments. However, months later, when
Gardner was back in New York, his phone rang. It was
Chuck Blazer, the American sports administrator who
pleaded guilty in the FIFA corruption case.
“Do you want to come out to Hofstra Stadium?”
Blazer said. “We’ve got a youth team playing here; it’s a
team coming from Bolivia.”
“Bolivia?” Gardner said excitedly. “It’s not Tahuichi,
is it?”
It was Tahuichi, and the kids were fantastic. Blazer
had assembled what Gardner describes as an “All-star
team from New York, New Jersey, and Long Island,” but
the Americans were no match for the South Americans.
“What I saw, in my mind, is still better than a lot
of the top-level pro stuff. It was brilliant, absolutely
brilliant,” Gardner remembers. “That made me a huge
fan, and I had a long interview with Ronny Aguilera,
the founder of the team. He talked to me for hours, and
when it finished, honestly, I came to a conclusion that
he had no clue what it was that they were doing that
was working. It was some sort of mystery, I don’t know,
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

but it was wonderful.”


The mystery factors were artistry and picardía,
which Gardner still hopes the United States will find by

ISSUE 1
looking to its Latino population. “It is such a frustration
to me that we lack this because we have everything we
need here, in the Hispanic community,” he says. “The-
se are present in the Hispanic players, even the young
ones.”
Gardner remains optimistic, but with a sense of
urgency: “I would like the changes to happen more
quickly. I don’t have much longer. I’m 85.”

12 THE OPEN VEINS OF AMERICAN SOCCER


ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL RAMÍREZ TEXT BY LUCIANO WERNICKE

N T HE HI STORY OF T HE SOUT H A ME RI C A N C H AM P I O N S H I P,
PE RHA PS N O N AT I ON A L T E A M HA S SHOWN A S M U CH LOV E
FOR PL AY I N G SOCC E R A S T HE C HI LE A N N AT I ON A L T EAM T H AT
PA RT I C I PAT E D I N T HE B RA Z I L 1 91 9 TOURN A M EN T. D ES P I T E
K N OWI N G T HE MSE LVE S TO B E GRE AT LY I N FE RI OR TO T H E R ES T
OF T HE PA RT I C I PA N T S, A N D WI T H JUST ON E T I E I N T H E PAS T
SI X GA ME S OF T HE PRE VI OUS T WO TOURN A ME N T S ( A RG EN T I N A 1 91 6
A N D URUGUAY 1 91 7) , T HE C HI LE A N A MAT E UR FOOT B A LLERS EM BAR K ED
ON A TORT UOUS JOURN E Y TO RI O DE JA N E I RO. T HE FI RST L EG I N CLU D ED
MA N Y T RA I N T RA N SFE RS AT DI FFE RE N T STAT I ON S UN T I L TH EY AR R I V ED
T HRE E DAYS L AT E R I N B UE N OS A I RE S.

The team crossed the Río de la Plata to Colonia del Sacra- of the players from dying buried under the white blanket.
mento, and then another rail convoy dropped them off in Substitute goalkeeper Guillermo Bernal’s mule died, and he
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

Montevideo. There the Chileans boarded the Florianópolis almost froze to death. Borgheti found him on the verge of fa-
transatlantic alongside their colleagues from Argentina and ding and gave up his own steed, since the goalie couldn’t walk
Uruguay. After ten interminable days of rocky sailing, the with his feet numbed by cold. Center-back Ulises Poirier and
athletes—beat-up, dizzy, nauseous—reached their final des- striker Guillermo Frez, who had been separated from their

ISSUE 1
tination. companions in the midst of the blizzard and had fallen from
The poor Chileans had no time to acclimate or recover their animals, were found unconscious and partially buried
from the rough, stressful trip: they were immediately sla- in the snow.
ted to face the well-rested, well-trained home team, which Revived, the players climbed onto their teammates’ mu-
showed no mercy and routed them 6-0. After subsequently les, and all were able to resume the journey together. Despite
losing 2-0 to Uruguay and a humiliating 4-1 against Argenti- extreme setbacks the footballers arrived safely to El Juncal
na, the Trasandinos had to wait until the end of the tourna- train station, where they were able to eat, drink hot tea, and
ment to head home on the Florianópolis ship along with the rest. From there, the odyssey continued by train. The team
other teams. Following another 12 long days of sailing and a arrived at the Chilean capital on July 9th, 39 days after setting
midway stop in Montevideo, the Chileans arrived in Buenos sail from Rio de Janeiro. The boys returned hungry, frozen,
Aires, where they boarded a train that took them to Mendoza penniless, and routed by rivals, but they were proud to have
with hours of delays. represented their country with honor.
The delegation had planned to continue the trip to San-
tiago by rail, but a snowstorm mandated the closure of all The Odyssey appears in Spanish as La Odisea in Luciano
railways, highways, and roads. Faced with the possibility of Wernicke’s Historias insólitas de la Copa América, published
being stranded for weeks in Argentine territory, the players
in the United States by Sudaquia Editores. Translated by
and officials agreed to undertake the dangerous mission of
crossing the Andes Mountains by mule in the middle of win- Marlena Gittleman and Juan Mesa.
ter. The Chilean official, Romeo Borgheti, later revealed in
an interview that they faced the adventure with “scarce su-
pplies: 10 salchichón sausages, a four-pound block of cheese,
two trays of preserves, a few slices of ham and mortadella, six
loaves of bread, and a bottle of cognac. The bottle was barely
enough—some relished it more than they did the bread.”
The group departed on 22 mules from Zanjón Amarillo, a
point in Mendoza close to the village of Uspallata. Borgheti
described the first part of the journey before crossing Puente
del Inca as “pleasant,” but beginning with the descent on foot
in Cuesta de Caracoles, the crossing became “horrific.” “We
got lost in the snow constantly, we rolled like balls,” he said.
A storm split up the group, and only a miracle prevented three

14 THE ODYSSEY
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE TEXT BY JUAN LATORRE

ISSUE 1
Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General
since April 27th, 2015.

16 FIFAGATE: WHEN JUSTICE SHOCKED SOCCER IN THE AMERICAS


ay 27th, 2015 see- cusation stemmed from the discovery
med to be a quiet of a complex financial scheme in which
day in quiet Zurich. CONMEBOL and CONCACAF officials
The upscale Baur au accepted bribes for exclusive broadcas-
Lac hotel was plea- ting and marketing rights during major
sed to have under events such as Copa Libertadores de
its roof, once again, América, Copa Oro and Copa América
the leaders of the Centenario. These operations were per-
soccer associations formed through a network of bank ac-
subscribed to FIFA; counts opened on U.S. soil, after a series
the annual congress of soccer’s world- of preparations and agreements that
wide ruling institution was scheduled had also been made within U.S. borders.
to take place on the 29th. The activities Therefore, it was the United States judi-
of that congress would include electing cial system, and not those of the coun-
a president, which seemed to be a sure tries of origin of the accused, that had
win for the incumbent who had been jurisdiction to act.
the undisputed master for 17 years: Two key figures lie at the heart of
Swiss-born Joseph Blatter. Under his the investigation. One of them is Chuck
command, FIFA had strengthened its Blazer. As Secretary General of CONCA-
presence in regions of the world with CAF from 1990 to 2011, Blazer became
previously little to no soccer tradition, famous not only because of his gargan-
promoting and developing the sport tuan, bearded appea-
through the allocation of funds for you- rance, but also his ex- THE ALREADY BATTERED TRUST IN
th schools and infrastructure, among travagant, boastful way
other initiatives. In return for this mas- of life. A typical day for OFFICIALS HAS BEEN NOW REDUCED
sive influx of money, Blatter obtained
the loyalty of the benefitting associa-
Blazer might include
a ten course meal and TO DUST, AND IT WILL TAKE A LOT
tions’ directors; his re-election seemed
to be a piece of cake. Blatter appeared
petting his cats, who li-
ved in their own Trump OF WORK BY THE PEOPLE WHO TAKE
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

to be the overlord of an institution that


has more member countries than the
Tower apartment. Sus-
taining this way of life
OVER IN ORDER TO RESCUE SOME
United Nations, and national associa- didn’t appear feasible, CREDIBILITY.
even with the generous

ISSUE 1
tions answered directly to FIFA’s Zurich
leadership, rather than to their own go- salary he earned at CONCACAF, so his implicated. Given that FIFA’s leaders-
vernments. In other words, Blatter and behavior drew the authorities’ atten- hip was historically controlled by men
his friends looked untouchable. tion. He was finally held accountable for and embroiled in machismo culture, it
But everything changed on May 27th. the acceptance of multi-million dollar was striking to see a woman enforcing
That morning, a group of Swiss police- bribes, along with many other illegal justice that would oust a corrupt and
men, disguised as civilians, arrived at forms of income generation. Yielding seemingly untouchable enterprise. Al-
the Baur au Lac. They subtly presented to the pressure of the judicial officials, though FIFA’s obscure maneuvers were
the warrants they were carrying and re- Blazer pled guilty in November of 2013. an open secret to the Latin American
quested entrance to the rooms of seven He surrendered $1.9 million and offe- public, the shock was that they were fi-
high-ranking FIFA officials, including red his collaboration to help unravel the nally prosecuted by law.
two members of the Executive Commit- tangled yarn of CONCACAF’s corrup- It has been a year since the first Loretta Lynch on her way to introduce FIFA’s
tee. All the detainees had something in tion. Since then, Blazer’s evidence has arrests at Baur au Lac. The list of offi- corruption scheme to the world.
common: they were from the Americas, proved fundamental in pressing char- cials involved grew over months, and
and were representatives of CONME- ges against the defendants, a group that it includes no less than the crème de
BOL and CONCACAF, FIFA’s ruling con- includes his former boss, Jack Warner, la crème of continental soccer: three
federations in the continent. The rea- a populist politician in Trinidad and former CONMEBOL presidents (Nico-
son for such a procedure? The United Tobago, who presided over CONCACAF lás Leoz, Eugenio Figueredo, and Juan now reduced to dust, and it will take a ting tainted by the corrupt recent past. It is clear that the crisis will not be
States had requested the arrests of the- and served as a FIFA Vice President. Ángel Napout); three former CONCA- lot of work by their successors in order More optimistic voices believe Copa solved in the short term. Those who fill
se officials, as part of a judicial process The other central figure in the in- CAF presidents (the abovementioned to rescue even some credibility. América Centenario could be the first in the vacancies created by the arrests
led by the Attorney General herself, vestigation is Loretta Lynch. Before her Jack Warner, Jeffrey Webb, and Alfredo After Europe, South America is soc- step towards a clean era for soccer in and bans will need to be conscious of
Loretta Lynch. The charges? Electronic appointment as the U.S. Secretary of Hawit); as well as former presidents cer’s largest stronghold, and this makes the continent. At the national level, the fact that they are no longer above
fraud, extortion, and money laundering. Justice, she served as the U.S. Attorney of the national soccer associations of the impact on CONMEBOL much larger now-headless associations are expe- the law. It will be in the hands of the-
Swiss police stealthily removed the de- for the Eastern District of New York. Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, than that on CONCACAF. CONMEBOL’s riencing a power struggle, which only se successors to prevent that a lack of
fendants–some in handcuffs–from the It was in that post that she learned Nicaragua, Cayman Islands, Venezue- top club competition, Copa Libertado- leads to big doubts as to where soccer scruples continues to undermine soc-
hotel, and the process to send them about the fraudulent business of soccer la, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, and res, and its major national team event, in the Americas is headed. Will it lead to cer’s institutions from within. They
across the Atlantic began. How was it authorities. Working simultaneously Guatemala. Most of these officials have Copa América, are both in the eye of the rise and dominance of new corrupt alone can ensure that we never again
possible that a country like the United with the FBI and the IRS, Lynch slowly been already arrested or turned them- the hurricane. It took months to dis- gangs, or will a process of reflection and risk watching FIFA’s leaders, covered in
States, where soccer is often relegated followed the thread and found illegal selves in, and several will surely follow pel rumors of the possible cancellation cleansing emerge triumphant? Will the sheets and shame, exit through the back
to the sidelines, was creating judicial transactions hidden in financial enti- in Blazer’s footsteps and cooperate to of Copa América Centenario, a special involvement of the United States gene- door of the Baur au Lac.
turmoil that would topple FIFA’s elite in ties in New York and beyond. Her team get a sentence reduction. From an ins- event to celebrate the 100th year of rate more skepticism due to its geopo-
Latin America, where the sport enjoys ran into Blazer’s file, and, by turning titutional point of view, however, soccer the tournament slated to take place in litical influence and historic meddling
top standing as a national pastime? the financial felon into a precious in- has been severely wounded. The alre- the United States. For many in South in Latin America, or be welcomed as
The answer is quite simple. The ac- formant, they discovered who else was ady battered trust in officials has been America, this is will be an exhibition a guarantee to keep soccer away from
tournament, or a product of marke- criminals?

18 FIFAGATE: HOW AN AMERICAN LADY BROUGHT SOCCER DOWN TO ITS KNEES


NOBODY’S
PENALTY

1
MIN 5’

PERFECT
PENALTY

2
MIN 76’
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

W H E N T H E S O CC E R G O D S CO N TA I N E D O N E

ISSUE 1
PENALTY

OF THE MOST PROLIFIC STRIKERS IN SOUTH


3
MIN 88’

A M E R I C A ’ S H I S T O R Y.

On July 4th, 1999, Feliciano Cáceres ree called a handball in the box. Four when Edwin Congo (78th’) and Jhon-
Stadium in Luque, Paraguay, hosted minutes later, Colombia opened the nier Montaño (86th’) put Colombia
another episode of Nobody’s Per- scoreboard with an Iván Córdoba pe- far ahead with a 3-0.
fect. On that day, Martín “El Loco” nalty kick. Argentina’s coach Marcelo Bielsa
Palermo, who ended his career as the Colombia could have extended the left Palermo on the field despite the
fifth all-time scorer in Argentina’s lead early in the second half, but Ha- setbacks. The striker would have one
first division with 227 goals, missed milton Ricard missed another penal- more chance in the stoppage time
three penalty kicks in a Copa Améri- ty shot. In the 75th minute, Palermo with another penalty kick. This time
ca group stage game that his national had the chance to tie the game with “El Loco” opted to kick the ball to the
team Argentina lost 3-0 against Co- his second penalty of the match, but left side of the goal, but goalkeeper
lombia. his shot went over the crossbar on Miguel Calero flew there to secure
The jinxed evening started at the something that could have been valid his clean sheet and left the soccer
5th minute when Palermo hit the as a field goal in American Football. predator craving for goals for the rest
crossbar from the spot after the refe- Palermo’s misery got accentuated of the day.

20 NOBODY’S PERFECT
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION BY CARLOS SANABRIA TEXT BY JUAN MESA

ISSUE 1
22 DIABLO’S GOSPEL
THE BEGINNINGS

“I began playing as a left winger, then move left back, and


played center back for a bit. After it, with youth national
teams, I played as a holding midfielder, marking people. It
was when I got promoted to a first team that I began to
play as a 10, the team’s playmaker.”

ON ACADEMY TAHUICHI AGUILERA

“The foundation of all was the academy owner, the late Ro-
lando Aguilera. He is a person to whom the youth of that
time owes a lot for what he did for the youngsters and
soccer. It is because of him that youth soccer tournaments
exist in Bolivia. Tahuichi Academy played for Bolivia in the
first U-17 World Cup (at that time U-16) in China in 1985.
Bolivia played the tournament by invitation because it had
a lot of prestige.”

ON FIRST COPA AMÉRICA IN 1989 COPA AMERICA

“We had negative results in the first three games. The


fourth game was a goodbye match, and we managed to tie
Argentina, the World Champion at that time. You cannot
imagine how harsh was the criticism in Bolivia before the
EL ESCORPION MAGAZINE

game, but we got a scoreless draw, and that let us landed


tranquil back in Bolivia.”
ON BEING SENT OFF IN THE WORLD CUP

ISSUE 1
“To be honest, I don’t think it was fair enough for a red card.
ON QUALIFYING TO THE WORLD CUP FOR THE It was just a reaction, a brush. There were terrible fouls in
that World Cup and weren’t judged the same. But we know
FIRST TIME IN BOLIVIA’S HISTORY who was [Arturo] Brizio. He liked to be more important
than the players and be the “Man of the Match.” I was not
“It was special, something to cherish forever. Having the the only one; he later red carded Ariel Ortega [in France
love of the whole country was marvelous. It is part of my 1998].”
personal history. Brazil was a big deal and at that time, they
hadn’t lost a qualifying game in 40 years. Bolivia was the
underdog that took away its unbeaten run. I scored almost
in the last minute. I believe my career would have been di- ON COMING TO AMERICA
fferent without that goal.”
“I came to the US after playing for two big clubs in South
America*. People from the league visited me to see if I was
ON BEING INJURED BEFORE THE WORLD CUP interested. I always asked why in such a big country soc-
cer wasn’t important. I wanted to be a pioneer and make
“I was not fit to play the World Cup. My call-up was an award the American people believe in football. It was a good offer,
by coach [Xavier] Azkargorta. The injury healed, but I was and I accepted happily. The fans weren’t as passionate as in
not ready to play. I was in 60 percent of my possibilities. It South America at the beginning, but I liked the respect and
was after I played in América de Cali in Colombia that I was ON D.C. UNITED AND JAIME MORENO BIGGEST SORROW
professional culture. The US is a perfect country to live and
able to recover completely and came back to my best level. play. It has what a soccer player needs. Fans don’t get mad if
They had excellent therapists and helped me a lot.” “In D.C. United we made a good tandem with Jaime Moreno. “My biggest regret in soccer is that I never played with my
you lose because they saw you as a professional and recog- He was a star. We grew up together in the national team and brother Johnny**at a professional level. He was a great pla-
nized you gave it all on the field. When the other team wins, lived amazing moments, then shined in MLS, and that it’s in- yer that probably didn’t have the tools my generation had. He
they just acknowledge there was a better side. Americans credible. They chose us as two of the best players in the first was my childhood hero.”
have that mentality.” 20 years of the league. I just have gratitude towards MLS.”

ON BRUCE ARENA
* Chilean Colo-Colo and Colombian América de Cali.
“Bruce Arena is a coach that is on a level above the rest. He ** Johnny Etcheverry played professionally for Bolivian side
trusted me a lot and made me the center of his soccer idea. Oriente Petrolero.
He had a great system of work, a man ahead of his time.”

24 DIABLO’S GOSPEL

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