Source AP ©

Peruvian soccer clubs threaten to leave championship league

Six most prominent soccer clubs in Peru have backed off a threat to withdraw from the league championship amid a scandal surrounding a fellow team.

Last month, Peruvian Football Federation president Manuel Burga pardoned Sport Ancash after the federation's justice commission demoted the club for signing two players last year who were not registered as professionals.

The commission ruled earlier this year that second-division club team Jose Galvez would replace Sport Ancash, even though the season already had started.

On Friday, Alianza Lima, Cristal, San Martin, Melgar and Sport Boys threatened to withdraw from the 12-team league in response to Burga's decision, but backpedaled after a marathon meeting Monday that lasted past midnight.

"Despite all that is happening to Peruvian soccer, the clubs' position is not to withdraw from the championship," Cristal manager Diego Rebagliati said in a news conference.

Jose Galvez spokesman Rafael Montoya said his club would appeal to FIFA in Switzerland.

"I feel ashamed for what has happened here," he said. "They took away their support."

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