El Salvador decides to suspend the League

El Salvador decides to suspend the League

The Salvadoran Football Federation (Fesfut) and the clubs decided this Wednesday to suspend the closing tournament of the national championship after the stampede that left 12 dead on Saturday in a stadium, which angered the players.

“We have decided to declare the El Salvador 2022-2023 National Championship over,” they said in a joint statement. “This measure was taken given the seriousness of the events and the need to guarantee the safety conditions of the sports facilities,” they added.

“There will be no tournament champion,” Fesfut said. Consequently, the federation will propose that the 2022 champion and runner-up, FAS and Jocoro, as well as the Águila club, the best ranked in the 2023 championship, represent El Salvador in the next Concacaf tournament.

This decision upset Salvadoran soccer players. In a press release, a group called ‘United Players’ urged the federation to “reconsider the decision (…), to take our opinion into account for the first time and to respect our right to work.” The end of the championship “is a hasty measure”, they lamented, believing that “immediate solutions” can be found to the security problems in the stadiums.

At least 12 people were killed and 500 injured in a stampede at San Salvador’s 35,000-capacity Cuscatlán stadium on Saturday at the start of a first division match between local team Alianza and FAS CD.

The Alianza club was held responsible for the accident and received a one-year ban for matches behind closed doors by Fesfut. According to the authorities, a possible sale of counterfeit tickets or a sale of surplus tickets could be at the origin of the tragedy, as many people would have tried to force their way into the already saturated stadium.

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