Peru football federation determined to keep Gareca as coach

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Lima, Aug 2 (IANS) The sporting director of the Federación Peruana de Futbol (FPF) has said that he is ready to do “the impossible” to persuade Ricardo Gareca to remain coach of the national football team.

Juan Carlos Oblitas told a press conference here on Wednesday that while Gareca would like to stay on, he is worried about the future of Peruvian soccer in light of the scandal involving FPF president Edwin Oviedo, reports EFE news agency.

“I believe that he will tell us ‘yes,’ with certain conditions,” the FPF official said ahead of a meeting this week with the Argentine, who helped Peru qualify for the World Cup this year for the first time since 1982.

Oviedo is under fire for allegedly providing a corrupt Supreme Court judge with an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The FPF president denies the allegations.

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“What Ricardo has told me is that they (Gareca and his assistants) are very confused about everything that’s happening. I replied that it’s that way for all of us, but that I promised him that if he agrees to coach Peru for four more years, we will armor-plate the sporting element so that nothing interferes with the work of the team,” Oblitas said.

Oblitas, who played for Peru in two World Cups and coached the squad in the late 1990s, said that he seriously considered resigning his position after he learned of the accusations against Oviedo, but decided to stay in the interest of retaining Gareca.

“I’m going to stay so Ricardo agrees,” he said.

–IANS

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