Peru coach issues party warning

Peru coach Sergio Markarian said Friday he will exclude any player who went out partying hours after a 1-0 loss to Panama earlier this week.

Newspaper reports in Panama named several Peru players who were believed to have been at a club in Panama City until about 4:30 a.m following the friendly match in Panama City on Tuesday night.

Markarian, an Uruguayan who was named Peru coach in July, did not name any players but said an investigation was under way.

"We still have to find out more," Markarian said. "Sadly, I’m going to go where this leads me so we can field players that are really interested in fighting for the national team. Those who don’t have this interest will be left off the squad no matter who they are."

Peru won its first three matches with Markarian in charge – against Canada, Jamaica and Costa Rica – until the loss to Panama. The new coach has promised to introduce tough discipline to a team that has not played in a World Cup since 1982.

Peru has a history of discipline problems.

In 2008, four players – Claudio Pizarro, Jefferson Farfan, Santiago Acasiete and Andres Mendoza – were suspended from the national team after a late-night, alcohol-fueled party before a World Cup qualifying game against Ecuador.

Peru federation president Manuel Burga said Markarian had his full support.

"We are supporting the decisions of the coach, and I don’t want to go into details," Burga said. "As the coach has said, we still must look into this but we have to put an end to it – once and for all. There must be discipline to reach goals. If it doesn’t exist, we will not achieve.

"This is doubly painful because we thought we had done away with this problem."