Updated 12:11 AM EDT, Mon, Oct 18, 2021

World Cup Qualifiers: Venezuelan Soccer Team Refuses to Play For a Federation With 'Scandal-Tainted' Leadership

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The Venezuelan soccer team could be in deep trouble after fifteen of its players threatened to quit if top officials do not resign from their posts.

The Associated Press, in a report published by Fox Sports, said that the players wrote an open letter on Monday which indicated that they will not continue playing "under the soccer federation's scandal-tainted leadership."

Fox News Latino said the group of players, composed of Tomás Rincón, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Salomón Rondón, Roberto Rosales, César González, Luis Manuel Seijas, Franklin Lucena, Grenddy Perozo, Josef Martínez, Juan Falcón, Nicolás Fedor, Gabriel Cichero, Ronald Vargas, Alejandro Guerra, and Christian Santos accused interim federation president, Laureano Gonzalez, of mistreating players.

They claimed that this was sparked by allegations that some men in the team are planning to oust coach, Noel Sanvicente.

''We accept criticism of our performances and as a team take responsibility for the results but in no way do we accept that we were preparing a movement to get the national coach out. We are upset and disillusioned by the lack of support from the national team's coaching staff over these accusations,'' the statement read.

It was also noted in the Fox News Latino report that the statement of the players was released less than one week after defender, Fernando Amorebieta, retired from the national team, due to leadership problems of the soccer team.

"As long as the Venezuelan Football Federation is commanded by its current directors ... our dream of going to the World Cup is compromised," the players wrote.

According to ESPN, Amorebieta quit the team saying that he would no longer play for Venezuela "while Sanvicente was in charge."

But Gonzalez said he already expected these revolts, adding that there will be more to follow, and are all aimed to get rid of the team's coach.

In a statement quoted by Fox News Lation, Sanvicente apologised to his team "if in some moment they felt a lack of my support."

"I have relied on them, and I hope to continue counting on them to generate the change we all desire.... But let there be no doubt - neither I nor my coaching staff have ever doubted for an instant the love of our players for the team's jersey," he added.

Sanvicente expressed willingness that he is ready to step aside if it will resolve the problems of the team.

The internal tensions could have been the reason why Venezuela remains scoreless and at the bottom of the South American qualifiers.

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