The FEF’s soft hand: this is how it ‘punished’ those who defected from the national team and those involved in the party in the 17th floor case. football | game

The national team suffered three embarrassing acts of group indiscipline between October 2017 and March 22, 2024. These incidents damaged the image of national football as they had a worldwide impact. Two took place within the framework of international tournaments organized by FIFA and CONMEBOL; The last time was in New York on the eve of a friendly match against a sovereign power.

Roberto Arboleda and Gonzalo Plata – repeatedly convicted of bad behavior in TRI – went to a club last Friday. streap tease Accompanied by a minor from the Big Apple: Kendry Paez, 16 years old (New York state law requires her to be over 21 to enter those types of venues).

The intrusion became known on Monday, March 25, when the portal the figure Pictures of the 35-second long video were leaked on social networks. A smiling Arboleda is seen showing a wad of bills (dollars) while a voice calls out “Make her dance!” Screaming is heard. For a dancer who performs several capers in front of the page, who is seated next to Plata.

This was his ‘free time’

The trio of footballers have received strong criticism from various fronts and their heroic act has been reported in the media in South America and Europe. The Ecuadorian Football Federation spoke through a brief statement without signature of responsibility, in which it did not specify what measures it would take in the event of a new case of indiscipline in the national team.

Initially, in its bulletin, Equafutbol reported that the day of Arboleda, Plata and Páez’s visit to the nightclub was during the “free time” given to the delegation. He then emphasizes: “What was transmitted in the images are facts contrary to the values ​​and principles that we defend and promote” and that this “will be the subject of analysis for a future call.” Nothing else.

according to him daily ExpressFrom London, the problematic Arboleda and Plata would be permanently expelled from the national team, and Páez would not receive “a strict sanction from FEF” due to “his softness”.

The ‘escapees’ played!

Equafutbol’s soft hand ‘punished’ other group acts of misconduct committed during the presidencies of Carlos Vilas and his successor Francisco Aguas in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

At that time, Vilas confirmed that on Friday, October 6, 2017, Arboleda, João Plata, Ener Valencia, Gabriel Cortez and John Cifuente. The head of security, Engineer Jaime Lara López, Colonel (inactive service), presented a report with the names of the five Tricolors that survived.

What strange decision did Vilas and interim coach Jorge Celico make regarding the undisciplined, who “left at midnight on Friday, returned on Saturday morning, and at 02:30”? Arboleda started as a starter against Argentina in a 3–1 win at Olympique Atahualpa on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, while Ener replaced José Francisco Cevallos Jr. in the 40th minute.

punishment copy

On October 12, 2017, Vilasis announced about the ‘sanction’: “The Board has resolved to exclude him from any call-up to the national team indefinitely.” But what the federation actually did was to impose a symbolic punishment. The so-called “indefinite suspension” did not affect the undisciplined Arboleda, João Plata, Ener Valencia, Gabriel Cortez and John Cifuente in any way, as La Tri had not been active for almost a year.

Roberto Arboleda and Ener Valencia with Ecuador at the 2019 Copa América. Photo: AFP

On the first occasion, two of those who had escaped from the selection meeting were summoned to Tri. Goodbye indefinite suspension. After the embarrassing affair, Ecuador became active again in September 2018 and Ener and Arboleda were starters in a 2–0 win over Jamaica in a friendly held in New Jersey.

Ecuador’s passage through Brazil – already in Egas administration – at the 2019 Copa América will be sadly remembered for the affair known as Piso 17. At the Hilton Garden Hotel in Belo Horizonte, Roberto Arboleda, Alexander Domínguez, José Quintero, Ayrton Preciado, Arturo Mina and Antonio Valencia attended an impromptu party after the elimination of La Tri.

beer cans

In a video released at the end of the competition, it was seen how, with the help of the then-FEF public relations officer, Arboleda brought boxes of beer and food to the apartment where Valencia was staying.

There was no punishment for those who partied on the 17th floor. The inflammatory speech by the Equafutbol president included phrases such as “severe sanctions”, “setting a new standard of conduct in the national team”, “the conduct of those selected should be good”. Impeccable”, that “a player joining the national team must follow strict rules” and that in the past “the national team did not have a disciplinary culture, not even among its managers, even worse among its members.”

After the Copa America, Ecuador played five friendlies in 2019 (against Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia), but in the first official duel of 2020, against the Albiceleste at the beginning of the Qatar 2022 qualifiers, some heroics in the 17th The floor party was reinstated. Dominguez and the always forgiving Arboleda returned. (D)

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