UPDATED STORY: El Salvador players have confirmed that they will now be playing tonight against Canada.
“As a united group, we’ve decided to play and give everything we have to keep our country’s hopes alive. We’re playing for ourselves, our families, and our fans. We’re doing this despite having to take these unfortunate actions, which affect the focus and concentration we need to have in order to play a game of this importance,” the statement reads.
Prior to their new statement, El Salvador players released an earlier statement today that said they will not be taking the pitch on Wednesday night for their match against Canada, citing a dispute with the federation over bonuses and treatment.
Below is a rough translation, courtesy Waking The Red’s Derek Gagnon:
First of all, we want to thank you for the unconditional support you have given us during this beginning of the process, for us it is a pride to be able to represent the country and give everything on the field for you and our families.
We have been presented with some very relevant and negative events, which we cannot let go as professionals. It is important that we unite as players, so that both we and future generations can have the reasonable conditions that a national team player should have and even more so when they are competing for a higher team World Cup.
We have lacked respect as professionals and people. This morning, President Hugo Carrillo and the committee chose the worst moment to distract us and recriminate that they had talked to the press about cold implements that we bought in Columbus. Using this as a distraction, to later say that they will comply with the prize agreement agreed in September when the Octagonal began. Mentioning that although there are mathematical possibilities, for them there are no real possibilities.
Given these events:
As a united group, we have made the decision to step aside and not suggest being part of these efforts by the federation. We will not play this game, to set a precedent and this will not be repeated for us, nor any selection from El Salvador.
We ask the president and committee of the federation to take action in order to give the player the treatment he deserves and should have, without putting other needs first. This not only for this group, but for all the national teams that do not have the conditions to compete.
Senior soccer team of El Salvador
But the game will be played tonight, with kickoff scheduled for 9 pm ET. Never a dull moment in CONCACAF.