12 Oct, 20:00
Monaco forward Radamel Falcao has sparked match-fixing allegations after Peru star Renato Tapia admitted discussing World Cup qualification with Colombia captain during their final qualifying match on Tuesday night.
Peru and Colombia settled to 1-1 draw which saw Falcao’s side qualify for Russia and Peru reach the play-offs. Peru finished in fifth, edging out Chile on goal difference , and now face New Zealand over a two-legged play-off. But there have been some claims over fixing because of the closing stages of the encounter.
Falcao was seen talking to Peru players while holding his hand across his mouth during the final few minutes of their 1-1 draw in Lima. A defeat for Peru in the match would have seen them miss out on the playoff spot, with Chile taking fifth spot, while a win for Peru would have put Colombia at risk. It has been suggested that Peru took their foot off the gas following instructions from Monaco striker Falcao. He was pictured speaking to a series of Peru players, seemingly telling them a draw would suit both nations.
And now midfielder Renato Tapia has fuelled conspiracy theories, admitting Falcao and his teammates did discuss the match result with their opponents but denied making a pact. - In the last five minutes, the Colombians approached us. They knew what the situation was in the other games. So we managed the game as we needed to… I spoke with Radamel, who told me we were both qualified (as things stood), but it’s football and we play to win.
A number of matches have been doubted in the past over convenient results including Denmark's 2-2 draw with Sweden at Euro 2004, which saw both sides progress and Italy exit.