Teofilo Gutierrez’s much-anticipated move to River Plate has been the subject of ongoing controversy since his arrival in Buenos Aires last week.
The Colombian striker was checked out and cleared to play last week by doctors, but a set of scandals regarding his contract has kept him from suiting up thus far for the storied Argentine powerhouse.
First there were issues with the paperwork. In a press conference last Friday before the Argentine media, the head of the Argentine Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP), Ricardo Echegaray, specifically mentioned Teo’s transfer when denouncing what he called widespread “irregularities” in the way Argentina soccer teams conduct their business.
According to Echegaray, of the 144 total transfers made during the most recent offseason, 104 fail to meet the requirements laid out by the AFIP. Gutierrez’, one of the biggest moves made in the Argentine league this transfer window, was one of only three mentioned by name in the entire media session.
And as speculation swirled in the Argentine media about whether players like Gutierrez would be allowed to play at all this season, a new scandal developed that could keep him out of the Estadio Nacional in Buenos Aires indefinitely.
On Thursday, Cruz Azul released a statement claiming that Buenos Aires’ River Plate has failed to fulfill the economic conditions of Teo Gutierrez’ transfer, and that unless payments are made immediately, the Colombian striker will have to return to Mexico City, where he will be given the choice of playing for his former side or waiting for another team to pick up his contract.
According to the press release, “River Plate has not completed its contractual payment obligations and, as a consequence, Cruz Azul FC has not been able to free the transfer of [Teofilo Gutierrez].”
Gutierrez’s representative Efrain Pachon told the Colombian press that neither he nor his player have received any formal communications from Cruz Azul, contradicting claims made in the statement put out by last year’s Mexican finalists.
According to Panchon, “River is following through. What happened is that the transfer [of money] from Argentina to the exterior has to be approved by the tax administration and that has been the delay. I don’t think there’s going to be any problem: I know that it is on its way to being authorized by the Argentine government.”
A spokesman for River Plate confirmed Panchon’s statement, saying, “it’s a matter of time. River already deposited the money in the bank and is waiting for authorization from the AFIP for the transfer. On Tuesday [Gutierrez] will be ready to play.”
Neither Panchon nor River Plate, however, indicated whether the delay in the AFIP’s processing of Teo Gutierrez’ contract has anything to do with the claims that same organization made regarding the lack of transparency and avoidance of official policy that indicted the purchase in the first place.
Until at least Tuesday, then, the chance to put on the River Plate jersey will remain a dream for Teofilo Gutierrez, and a tenuous one at that.
- AFIP investiga pases de futbol Argentino (Nuevo Diario)
- El titular de la AFIP denuncio irregularidades en la compra de jugardores de futbol (La Capital)
- El River Plate asegura que el martes teo gutierrez estara habilitado (Kien y Ke)
- Cruz Azul asegura que Teo Gutierrez debe regresar a sus filas (El Tiempo)