The Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) recently condemned video footage that surfaced showing some of their squad members, including 16-year-old Kendry Paez, in a nightclub during their international camp in the United States in April. The videos showed players like Paez, 32-year-old Robert Arboleda, and 23-year-old Gonzalo Plata interacting with a female dancer, with Arboleda seen holding a bundle of bank notes. Another video showed several Ecuadorian players dancing in a club, with a sign in the background reading “Ecuador in the house”.

The FEF clarified that the players were given six and a half hours of free time on Friday after their friendly victory over Guatemala and prior to their match against Italy. While the players supposedly adhered to this schedule, the federation expressed their disappointment in the behavior displayed in the videos. They stated that such actions go against the values and principles they uphold and will be taken into account for future squad selections. The FEF reaffirmed their commitment to upholding the standards of Ecuadorian football.

In response to the incident, Chelsea, the club that young midfielder Kendry Paez is set to join in 2025, noted that they were aware of the situation. Paez, who is transferring from Independiente del Valle, will not officially join Chelsea until he turns 18. Despite his young age, Paez has already been capped six times at the senior international level and even made an appearance as a substitute in Ecuador’s recent match against Italy.

The FEF issued a statement addressing the publicized events and reiterated the fact that players had been given free time within the designated schedule, which they reportedly followed. However, the federation made it clear that the behavior captured in the videos is not in line with their core values and will be taken into consideration for future team selections. This incident has shed light on the importance of upholding standards and setting a good example for young players like Paez, who will likely face increased scrutiny as he transitions to a more high-profile environment at Chelsea.

The videos that surfaced from the Ecuadorian team’s time in the United States have sparked controversy and garnered attention from both fans and officials alike. The images of players engaging in activities that contradict the expected conduct of professional athletes have prompted reflection within the FEF about how to address such incidents moving forward. It serves as a reminder of the responsibilities that come with representing a national team and the impact that off-field behavior can have on a player’s reputation and career. The FEF’s swift response to the situation underscores their commitment to upholding the integrity of Ecuadorian football.

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