Greatest scandals in Nicaraguan sports

Photo of author

By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Many athletes and sports leaders have been involved in all kinds of scandals in Nicaragua. Some with international borders and others local, as well as individually or collectively.

Corruption, match fixing, athletes involved in alimony problems, even crimes. Everything has given the dark side of sport in Nicaragua.

One of the most notorious scandals has been that of Julio Rocha López, who spent 24 years at the head of Nicaraguan soccer. He was one of Sepp Blatter’s operators, who headed FIFA for 17 years.

The FIFA corruption scandal broke in May 2015, and Rocha along with six senior officials were accused of receiving more than $150 million in bribes over 25 years. Blatter resigned from FIFA and Rocha began a downward spiral until he was arrested and extradited to New York where he pleaded guilty in court. He died while in custody on January 13, 2018.

Boxers who have been world champions have also been involved in scandals in courts and police stations, such as the case of Rosendo “el Búfalo” Álvarez, who gave so much glory to the Nicaraguans when he was crowned world champion on December 2, 1995 by defeating the undefeated Thai boxer Chana Porpaoin.

Nicaragua showered Álvarez with praise, but then came problems and scandals. In August 1999, he arrived drunk at a rooster arena and caused a scandal by challenging several of those present to beatings and causing damage to the place. Álvarez at that time was a big fan of cockfighting and a strong bettor.

He was also involved in another scandal in May of that same year, when he reported to the police a theft of $3,000 and a batch of jewelry that he claimed was stolen by three prostitutes with whom he had shared a few hours before. The boxer was always involved in scandals as a result of alcohol. He lost discipline in his training, on the scale and went through a bad time that led him to leave the country. Nowadays he is away from drinking, he has his boxing promoter, he has ventured into coaching and gives motivational talks.

Ricardo “el Matador” Mayorga was also involved in financial problems and even went to the Managua courts for a trial for sexual rape from which he benefited. Mayorga has been dealing with his drug addiction problems for years and is currently living in poverty after his glory days.

Román “Chocolatito” González has been involved in judicial scandals for non-payment of alimony, domestic violence and even a case of drug trafficking when his brother Milton González was arrested by the Police and the cocaine that was found in his backpack, for Magically, it turned into talcum powder. Chocolatito’s brother faced the trial in freedom and was exempted by Judge Julio César Arias.

Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga celebrates with family and friends the exoneration of a trial for sexual rape in the courts of Managua in December 2005. Mayorga has led a disorderly life, lost his fortune, found himself in financial problems and was decimated by drugs and alcoholism. He has been in rehab, but he always relapses. Currently he lives very modestly and in oblivion.

Big-name players have also been entangled, such as the case of Jonathan Loaisiga, current pitcher for the New York Yankees who has had child support problems for his minor children. Another one that has been in trouble is the case of former San Diego Padres big leaguer Everth Cabrera. With a promising career of six seasons in the Major Leagues, one of the scandals broke out when Cabrera admitted the use of substances to improve performance on the field. From there his career took a nosedive until he ended alcohol and drug abuse and dealing with mental health issues.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FOTOl.jpg

Julio Rocha headed the Nicaraguan Soccer Federation for 24 years, was president of the Nicaraguan Olympic Committee from 1995 to 2008, presided over soccer federations in Central America and was appointed by FIFA for the development of soccer talent worldwide. That entire career came to an end when the FIFA corruption scandal broke out in May 2015. Rocha died in the United States in January 2018.

Rosendo “El Búfalo” Álvarez was an outstanding boxer, but when fame and fortune came to him, scandals and financial problems also came. He went through a bad economic time that he managed to overcome today.

Hubert Silva has stood out as a manager in national baseball. In 2017, he caused a traffic accident in which four people died, including two minors. Silva invaded the lane causing the tragedy and inside his vehicle there were several beer bottles that at the time of the trial were evidence that the judge rejected. He spent less than three years in prison of the six he was sentenced to and continued in national baseball.

Rudel Calero was one of the best forwards in Nicaraguan soccer. Originally from Bluefields, his career stood out with Real Estelí and he was always involved in scandals due to his volatile character. He faced justice for serious injuries when he attacked the son of an Estelian businessman and for property damage when he started a fight at a nightclub. He officially retired from football in 2017 and currently lives in the United States.

Armando Collado was the national team of the Blue and White in a promising career in soccer, but in 2011 a scandal broke out due to match-fixing for the national team, for which he was banned for life by FENIFUT and FIFA. He currently became a professional poker player.

Jason Casco was a defender of the national soccer team. In February 2021 he was arrested for the crime of conspiracy to organize organized crime and in July of the same year he was sentenced to 33 months in prison. Casco was also suspended by FENIFUT the same year for being on a list of several people involved in match-fixing. He was released under the family coexistence regime in April 2022.

A photograph of the Blue and White from March 15, 2016 during a friendly with the Panama team in Managua. Nicaraguan soccer is the sport that has been most affected by the scourge of match-fixing.

Germán Pomares championship baseball between the Boer Indians team against Madriz in March 2021. In this league there are the lowest salaries for its players, which makes them vulnerable to match-fixing.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensani