Four players from Colombia’s Once Caldas soccer team are being accused by a woman of raping her, the Manizales-based team said.
The Attorney General’s Office said Friday it was opening an investigation of players Jefferson Cuero Castro, John Fredy Pajoy and Carlos Rivas.
Once Caldas management did not reveal the identity of the fourth player, but team officials confirmed that the players were temporarily removed from the roster by coach Pompilio Paez.
A woman, identified as Luisa Fernanda Oviedo Zea, 18, provided “serious, credible and convincing” testimony about the alleged rape, AG’s office spokesman Nestor Armando Novoa said Friday.
The incident occurred on Wednesday after the Libertadores Cup match in which the Colombian team tied in Manizales 2-2 with Brazil’s Internacional, Novoa said.
There is evidence showing that the players are innocent, their lawyer, Aristides Betancourt, said.
“We will demonstrate that she (the accuser) made herself available to have sexual relations with other completely different people whose names I cannot give due to confidentiality,” the attorney told reporters.
Once Caldas is “willing to cooperate with the authorities so that the investigation can be carried out without delay and so that the material facts in the case can be clarified as quickly as possible,” the team said in a statement.
The case involving the Once Caldas players arises at the beginning of the week when the officials of the Boyaca Patriotas, a team that recently ascended into the First Division, expressed their support for Paraguayan player Marcos Lazaga, who is facing legal proceedings in Chile for alleged rape.
An Argentine woman accused Lazaga of raping her, although that did not prevent the officials of the Colombian team from moving forward with the negotiations to sign him for the current season.