This Monday a stir was generated by an investigation carried out by the highest soccer entity (Fifa), in its Ethics Committee, where they are investigating serious complaints of possible harassment and sexual abuse by Colombian referees.
the english diary Guardian was in charge of revealing said information, in which they assure that retired referees Óscar Julián Ruiz, today a FIFA instructor, and Imer Machado, head of arbitration of the Colombian Football Federation (FCF), are the ones involved in said complaints.
Oscar Julian Ruiz Colombian who refereed the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and has been a FIFA instructor since June 2011, He has been accused of sexual harassment by 11 alleged victims and more than 30 witnesses. Imer Machado, director of the FCF referees commission, also faces allegations of abuse and sexual harassment by 14 alleged victims and witnesses”, published the mentioned media.
To this request by the newspaper, a member of the Ethics Committee responded emphatically: “We have taken note of the information provided in your inquiry and can confirm that the matter is being investigated by the independent FIFA Ethics Committee… Please understand that no further comment can be made at this stage.”
The renowned newspaper also recalled the serious complaint that Óscar Julián Ruiz faced in 2019, who was pointed out by Hárold Perilla, another collegiate who was a victim.
There they cite that the latter made a call again on March 7, where he assured that in Colombia the fact had already been denounced in several media outlets. “It alleges that Ruiz sexually abused and harassed several other referees and some claim that he also forced others to have sex with him in order to get a promotion.”the newspaper said.
And he completed with Machado: “Another former international referee, has also been accused of sexual abuse and harassment, including claims that he touched the penis and testicles of another official in front of other people. It is understood that Colombia’s attorney general is considering reviewing the case in light of the new evidence.”
Perilla’s confession in 2019
“Óscar Julián Ruiz, from 2007 until I retired, harassed me. He asked me to have a relationship with him and if he wanted to go far in arbitration he had the way and he already knew what to do: have a relationship with him. He didn’t leave any time to be able to bother me, say morbid things to me “Perilla said.
One of the specific events that Perilla told was when he did not accept that Ruiz touched him. “In a preseason he tried to take my testicles and tail, I didn’t let myself and that caused me a big problem with him. He put his hand on my leg and I took it off. I had to withdraw, but with the impotence of not being able to file a complaint,” the judge said.
Perilla explained that Ruiz promised him that if he agreed to sexual favors he could help him with his career, but that he never accepted, so his professional work was cut short.
“I told him that I wanted to whistle for the World Cup final on my merits. I do not have the need for sexual favors to achieve my job, “said the complainant.
In addition, he said that at a referees’ party, Ruiz tried to abuse him. “I don’t drink, but Julián gave me a couple of drinks, but thank God my friends protected me. I have witnesses that he wanted to put me in the room ”he explained.
The victim also revealed that all the offers were made in person, so she had no personal evidence. “Very smart. He never left a chat or a message, but he personally did (the harassment) ”.
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FIFA investigates two Colombian referees for harassment and sexual abuse