SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The El Salvador national men's soccer team threatened not to play Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Canada over a dispute with its national federation, only to recant soon after.
In an open letter published by local media Wednesday afternoon, the players said the they had been reproached by the Salvadoran Football Federation for talking to the media about having to go out and buy cold-weather gear ahead of last Thursday's World Cup qualifier against the U.S. in Columbus, Ohio.
The players said the federation had threatened not to pay bonuses agreed to in September when the final round of qualifying in the region started.
But the players changed their stance soon after.
A tweet from El Salvador forward Enrico Duenas's official account said the match, at Estadio Cuscatlan, would go ahead as planned.
"We will play for ourselves, our families and for the fans," it said in Spanish.
Canada (6-0-4, 22 points) topped the eight-team CONCACAF qualifying standings ahead of Wednesday's match. El Salvador (2-5-3, nine points) stood sixth.
Come March, the top three teams will qualify for Qatar 2022. The fourth-place finisher will take part in an intercontinental playoff with an Oceania team to see who joins them.
The Canadian team flew into San Salvador on Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2022
The Canadian Press