America next to be hit over unpaid wages

BOGOTA - America became the third Colombian club in a fortnight to be handed a suspended 30-day ban over players' unpaid wages and social security contributions.

Colombia's Sports Institute (Coldeportes), an arm of the ministry of Culture, handed America, one of the country's biggest clubs, the suspension on Tuesday following similar sanctions to Deportes Quindio and Once Caldas.

America can still play their Apertura championship match this weekend and the suspension will be lifted if they get up to date with their player commitments, Coldeportes said on its website.

"If the directors of America de Cali get up to date with their labour and social security obligations towards their sportsmen... this suspension measure will be lifted immediately," Coldeportes said.

Coldeportes did not give details of America's unpaid wages and social security payments but local media reports said it was about 1.08 billion Colombian pesos ($603,689).

Coldeportes said it "has continued with the visits to Colombia's professional soccer clubs with the purpose of becoming acquainted with the legal and financial situation of each one of them" as the government attempts to fix the domestic game.