Football: Colombian faces bogus bonus charges

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The Independent Online

FRANCISCO MATURANA, who coached the n national team at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, is under judicial investigation in Bogota over 10 cheques he received from the jailed leader of a Cali drug cartel.

Maturana, who is now the coach of Costa Rica after a spell in charge of Ecuador's national side, has not yet been charged but is being investigated for possible "illicit enrichment" - a n legal phrase which means obtaining income or assets that one cannot prove came from legitimate sources.

The cheques were banked by Maturana in 1992, when he was the coach of America Cali. The money came from the club's owner, Miguel Rodriguez, who was arrested in 1995 and later convicted of drug trafficking.

Last week Maturana's former assistant at America, Pedro Sarmiento, was questioned about receiving cheques from Rodriguez worth almost pounds 1m between 1990 and 1993 to distribute, as bonuses, to the club's players and Maturana.


THE YOUNG daughter of the Russian international Oleg Veretennikov yesterday remained in a critical condition in hospital after the pair suffered an acid attack last week.

Veretennikov, who plays for Rotor Volgograd, was out for a walk with two-year-old Tanya when they were attacked by an assailant, who threw sulphuric acid at them. He only suffered injuries to his hand but his daughter has severe burns over most of her face and, if she survives, will be scarred for life.

Police, who have failed to catch the attacker, have come up with no motive apart from a suspected personal vendetta.