Match fixing allegations during the 2015 Gold Cup tournament turned out to be a false alarm.
CONCACAF, football’s governing body in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, has found no evidence of match fixing during the quarterfinal and semifinal matches of the 2015 Gold Cup.
“CONCACAF found no clear or convincing evidence of match fixing or an intentional effort to affect the results of the Gold Cup 2015 matches,” said the organization in a statement, adding that the decisions could be attributed to “simple mistakes, errors in positioning, and/or lack of concentration”
Mexico‘s 2-1 semifinal victory over Panama during last year’s Gold Cup has been clouded with controversy.
After the game, Panama Football Federation president Pedro Chaluja said that he wanted FIFA and CONCACAF to look into a possible match-fixing. The allegations were then followed by the statement from referee Mark Geiger, who admitted making errors, which impacted the outcome of the game.
The review, which was led by CONCACAF acting General Secretary Ted Howard, included interviews with referees, officials, technical staff, and members of the confederation referee advisory group.
After the incident, CONCACAF also determined that the entire referee and match official department required an overhaul. The changes included new financial terms for referees and other match officials as well as the method of appointing officials of matches in line with FIFA guidelines.
CONCACAF is also searching for a new director of referee after it parted ways with Sonia Denoncourt.
“CONCACAF’s referees are critical to our organization’s mission, and we are proud to have dedicated officials working to ensure that the Confederation’s tournaments are officiated with integrity,” said Howard. “These changes will provide our referees, officials, and assessors with the proper structure, training, and support to carry out their responsibilities on the field, while acting in the best interests of the game.”