COVID-19 and Soccer Trials Stand Out as the Main News this Past Week in Costa Rica

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    Strong criticism of the slow process of vaccination against COVID-19 that forced the Government to speed up immunization and the demand trial of three players against the soccer federation stood out in Costa Rica this past week.


    Costa Rica began vaccination against COVID-19 on December 24th, 2020 and until last December 19th, the technical health teams applied 312 thousand 425 doses of the antidote from the Pfizer / BioNTech consortium, for a vaccination rate of 6, 05 for every 100 inhabitants.

    The above results are very low figures, when it is known that in the country there are 676 thousand 455 doses of the mentioned drug. Added to this, official data show that COVID-19 was the main cause of death in Costa Rica in 2020, displacing myocardial infarction.

    Given the strong criticism from different sectors and the demand to accelerate immunization, even more so since a new outbreak of the Pandemic is expected, Health Minister Daniel Salas confirmed on Friday the speeding up of vaccination.

    The most recent health report reveals that with 1,740 new positives and 23 deaths between last Wednesday and Friday, Costa Rica has accumulated 215,178 cases and 2,931 deaths related to COVID-19 since March 2020.

    Soccer Trial

    On the other hand, this past Friday the judges read their conclusions of the process brought by the three captains of the National Team in the 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro Bryan Ruiz, Celso Borges and Keylor Navas against the then local soccer leaders Adrián Gutiérrez and Juan Carlos Román for alleged defamation.

    The criminal process stems from Gutiérrez and Román’s statements to the press in 2018, in which they affirmed that Bryan, Celso and Keylor allegedly said they would lose three games if Colombian coach Jorge Luis Pinto continued to lead the National Team.

    The judges decided to criminally acquit the defendants, but they imposed the moral penalty of paying three million colones – about five thousand dollars – to each of the plaintiffs, a sum considered pyrrhic compared to 35 million colones – just over 57 thousand dollars- that each one of the footballers demanded.

    Perhaps the only thing that can be rescued from this trial is that they will analyze whether to criminally prosecute the former president of the Costa Rican Football Federation Eduardo Li, arrested and convicted for the high-profile case of corruption in FIFA in 2014, for alleged false testimony, as he assured that Keylor was the one who said about fixing matches.

    With this ending, the only certain and real thing is that this judgment marks the best performance of Costa Rica in world football, since it occupied a creditable and unprecedented eighth place in the World Cup event in the beautiful Brazilian city.

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