The smile faded from his face. After spending the end of the year holidays away from his family due to being in pre-season, Alfredo Ramua, his colleagues and the directors of Cusco FC who made an effort to put together a competitive squad, collided with a failure of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that gave the reason to Cienciano and, therefore, decreed the descent of the ex-Real Garcilaso. The ‘Chapu’ showed all his discontent in this interview with El Comercio. “There are a lot of people who depend on us and with these decisions they are left without work”, he tells us explaining the collateral damage of the decision.
—In the end you decided to stay in the club
Yes, I am very grateful to the club. I have been here for nine years, I feel identified with the institution. It is a difficult moment, but my decision was to stay no matter what. Thank God the leadership and the technical command wanted me to stay and now we are going to face what we have to do with dignity.
“Did you turn down offers to stay?”
Yes, they have called me, but, as I told you, I have enormous affection for the club. I’ve been here for a long time and in this difficult moment I accepted the challenge of staying no matter what and putting my heart into the situation.
—What has the club given you, the city itself, to have that sense of belonging?
Everything. I came to Peru to play in CNI, but here in Cusco I found my place in the world. I am practically doing my entire career in Cusco FC and I am very grateful because they always wanted to count on me. I feel very good, happy, here.
—How did the TAS ruling that decreed the relegation of Cusco FC take them?
We were preparing to play League 1. The leadership also told us that this was going to happen. On December 15 we started the preseason, we even spent the holidays away from the family training, preparing, and now we find this failure that hurts us a lot. It’s amazing how everything is handled, isn’t it? Last year it happened to Carlos Stein, this year to us. Unfortunately, the only ones affected are the players and they are mistakes made by the Federation. One day they give you a point, the next they take it away. One day they welcome you to League 1, the next they send you to Second. And nothing happens, they are not responsible for any shit**. It’s a difficult time, sorry.
How has this decision affected you?
There are a lot of people who depend on us and with these decisions they lose their jobs. Many players have rented an apartment and paid in advance to make it cheaper, others enrolled their children in school… The truth is that the championship does not end up being serious. Two years in a row with the same thing. And it will continue to happen. I think it’s time for everything to be a little more serious, for the rules to be respected in due course. Once everything is given, you make projects, plan things and from one day to the next everything is gone. The worst thing is that nobody takes care of anything.
—To you, personally, how has it affected you?
In every sense. Thank God he catches me at another point in my career. But imagine if all this happens to me at 20 or 25 years old, with other plans. It’s not that it’s easy to play in the Second Division either, it has a lot of complications. Today I am very horny for everything I tell you. If we had gone down the field, well, we accept it, but not like now.
—There are two communiqués that they published as a team. The first accepting to play in League 2 and the second asking to reconsider their situation and allow them to play in League 1. Why the change in position?
There is no change of posture. It is a request to the Federation to reflect on all these issues. We are affected today and they never take care of anything. The most cordial and logical thing is that they take charge and leave the 20 teams in the First Division. Then try to make a tournament more transparent in every way so that all the teams are really taken seriously. It cannot be that every year is the same. One day you are in First Division and the next, out of nowhere, they send you to Second Division. Is incredible. I think that shouldn’t happen, everything would have to stay on the field. The last statement was also in the fever of the entire campus because we knew that the draw was coming that day (Monday) and not seeing each other there hurts us a lot.
—How did you find out about the decision of the TAS?
All through social networks, like everyone else. They take out a statement and that’s it. From there the friends, the family, come and let you know. The truth is that they make everything very easy. No one thinks of all the damages that happen. Nobody thinks about the footballer.
If it had gone down on the court, well, I accept it. That’s what sports is. But after it’s by mistake, and you find out through social networks that you’ll play in Second, it’s very hot.
—Will the entire squad stay to play League 2?
We have been talking these days. The leadership informed us that the technical command and 95% of the squad remain, including foreigners (Nicolás Olivera, Abdiel Ayarza, José Fajardo, Matías Abisab and Felipe Rodríguez). From there there are four or five players who had the possibility of continuing their career in First Division and they are fully entitled. Yesterday we went back to training already thinking about everything that is going to come.
—That 5% of soccer players who are going to leave must look for a team as soon as the tournament starts. Another consequence of what happened.
Even in that we are harmed. Another club that calls a player out there will want to pay the minimum because they know we are in a difficult situation. That’s why I tell you that the damage is a lot and no one is responsible. Here, in that sense, and with all the things that happened, the truth is that the Federation should have taken charge and left the 20 teams, but unfortunately they did not.