*

upload_article_image

Banned soccer official tried to fix Copa Libertadores match

A Paraguayan soccer official who was banned for life for match-fixing tried to influence the result of a Copa Libertadores match last year, FIFA said Wednesday.

Marco Trovato, the former Olimpia club president, also tried to fix 11 Paraguayan league matches in 2018 and 2019, according to a FIFA verdict.

Trovato was banned last month but the details of the case were only published by soccer's world governing body on Wednesday.

The Copa Libertadores match in question was the second leg of the round of 16 between Olimpia and Ecuador's Liga de Quito on July 30 last year. The first leg ended 3-1 to the Ecuadorians, who advanced after a 1-1 draw in Asuncion.

According to FIFA, an accuser named Edgar Troche said he and Trovato “were in permanent contact between 2018 and 2019 to manipulate results, among others, of several matches played by Olimpia.”

Troche also showed investigators several messaging app exchanges with Trovato and a copy of a check that the Paraguyan gave him.

The former Olimpia executive said on social media that he will fight to clear his name. He can challenge the ban to FIFA’s appeals committee, and later at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“It will be years of fights to clear this up, and we will show the lies and false evidence,” Trovato said.

Esteban Paz, a club director at Liga de Quito, called Trovato “a proper crook.”

“The corruption of Trovato and Olimpia was well known, but hard to prove,” Paz told an Ecuadorian radio station.

Miguel Brunotte, who took over as Olimpia's president, said the club has nothing do to with Trovato's behavior. He also said the club has never been asked to cooperate in the investigations.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports