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Ecuadorian Arbitration Association president denounced a debt of USD 500,000 and announced the possibility of taking de extreme measures
At the end of last year, Luis Muentes, president of the Ecuadorian Arbitration Association, denounced a lack of payment from the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) to the judges responsible for refereeing the Ecuadorian Soccer Championship. According to Muentes, the debt amounts to half a million dollars.
Leer en español: Ecuador: la deuda que pone en riesgo el campeonato de fútbol 2019
According to El Comercio, the Ecuadorian arbitrators have not received payments since August 2018. Regarding this situation, Muentes said recently that "the delicate thing is that no solution has been presented by them (from the FEF), so we will have an urgent meeting to decide what we will do". This situation jeopardizes the start of the next Ecuadorian championship, which has as its starting date on February 8, since the Confederation of which Muentes is president could take de facto measures to guarantee the payments they owe them.
In his statements, Muentes clarified that "the only thing that the president of the Pro League, Miguel Ángel Loor, told me is that if his candidate wins, Francisco Egas, they will solve the problem immediately. But the candidates do not owe us, is the Federation that owes us." It is on this situation that the Ecuadorian Arbitrators Association announced that they would hold an urgent meeting next week to decide what they will do with respect to the debt the FEF has with them.
It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time that Muentes and the Confederation have accused the lack of payments by the FEF. El Comercio notes that in January 2018 there was a similar complaint according to which there was a debt of up to 300,000 USD.
The Telegraph reports that, in addition to the requirement to receive their payments, the Ecuadorian arbitrators intend to request the inclusion of two more referees for important matches, such as the soccer finals, which would support the arbitration quartet that is generally assigned to matches. This seeks to improve the performance of arbitration, which, however, Muentes praised during the 2018 season.
A light at the end of the tunnel
In response to complaints from the Association, Loor agreed to reach an agreement with the Ecuadorian arbitrators, which was announced on January 11. That day, the president of Liga Pro said that the referees "will have a monthly salary and will also earn bonuses for matches, depending on the qualification." According to Loor, the payments will go directly to the Association. In addition, the inclusion of technological aids such as VAR and training for arbitrators was announced.
On the agreement, Muentes declared that "for the referees of the country it is a historic day. After so many years of surviving in this noble, but a sacrificial profession, today thanks to the opening of the LigaPro and all the enthusiasm we have put forward, we will have a better present and future. "This relaxes a little the tension between the FEF and the Ecuadorian referees. However, as the Ecuadorian newspaper, El Universo points out that, neither the Association nor the FEF has declared their debt over the debt initially reported by Muentes.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Diego Bogotá
Translated from: 'Ecuador: la deuda que pone en riesgo el campeonato de fútbol 2019'