“They screwed up my career because of a mistake I didn’t make,” Nicaraguan soccer player Henningston Santiago Real Salgado, 21, who was sentenced to two years of inactivity for alleged match-fixing, told Efe on Tuesday.
Real Salgado, who played with El Sauce FC in the Liga de Ascenso or Segunda División, said that the evidence that the Nicaraguan Football Federation (Fenifut) presented against him is the capture of a telephone conversation with a fan of the club and a penalty who failed in a match a week after his father died.
“I deny, reject and contradict each of the statements made by the disciplinary commission,” said the soccer player, who was a member of the U17 national team and scored eight goals in 14 games with El Sauce FC.
The soccer player shared with Efe an appeal that he sent to the general secretary of Fenifut, José María Bermúdez, which was not accepted for having taken it a day after the deadline expired.
“I’m practically alone. I come from a humble, poor, but honest family. My dad passed away (last year) and my mom lives in another place, and well, I hardly have anyone’s support and I couldn’t send the appeal on time, ”she lamented.
In his favor, Real Salgado maintained that he was the “most complete player and with the best performance” of El Sauce FC during the 2021 Liga de Ascenso Opening Tournament, in which he scored six goals in 11 games, all as a starter, and that only received a yellow card in more than 955 minutes played.
He scored another two goals in the Copa Primera, all dedicated to his deceased father, and “in all the games played I always gave my best and tried to help the team at every moment”, he assured.
In the interview with the members of the Fenifut disciplinary commission, he said, “I always stated that I am not involved in the investigated match-fixing acts, that I never received money in exchange for losing a match, that I have never lent myself to this kind of situation because I love football.”
In addition, “I know that I have a future in this sport, and I have ethical principles and values instilled by my parents,” he added.
In his opinion, the elements indicated by the disciplinary commission as evidence “are not convincing, they are mere speculations and fictional stories, which in no way can dispel the principle of innocence and go beyond reasonable doubt.”
For missing a penalty?
“Missing a penalty against FC Estelí cannot and should not be considered conclusive evidence against me, because I am not the only player who has missed a penalty in football, because it was not my intention to miss it and because I have not received any money either. in exchange for doing and no one has asked me to do it either, “he said.
“It was a fortuitous situation. I slipped while doing the execution because the field was wet, since it had rained,” he explained.
Regarding the capture of the conversation he had with a follower of the club in which he played, he said that Fenifut interprets the facts.
“At no time in the aforementioned conversation is my participation in the facts under investigation demonstrated. They simply make an insinuation that I tell him to be careful about going with that story to the team authorities, because it is dangerous, ”he commented.
“But that does not mean in any way that he accepts participation in the events,” he added.
Real Salgado, who played in the First Division with the Walter Ferreti club, considered that “Fenifut does not have a single tangible, real, verifiable proof that implicates me in the aforementioned facts”, and that they are punishing him “of course, not for concrete facts”.
The footballer hopes that Fenifut rectify and that the best evidence of his high performance are the videos of the matches in which he participated.
Fenifut reported this Tuesday that it sanctioned the players Real Salgado and José Donovan Martínez, until November 4, 2023, and Saddys Alexander Sandoval Fletes and Yunior Alexander Lazuna, until November 4, 2027, for match fixing. They all played with El Sauce FC.
He also punished the technical director of Deportivo Masaya, Milton Ángel Bustos García, until November 1, 2024.