Report: Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata among five players suspended from Ecuador national team

Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (10) kicks the ball, in MLS action at Rio Tinto Stadium, Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Real Salt Lake winger Joao Plata was reportedly one of the five players that the Ecuador Football Federation suspended indefinitely for disciplinary purposes.

The FEF did not identify the five players in Thursday’s release, but Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported that Plata was among five who allegedly left the team hotel to go to a party before Ecuador’s 3-1 loss to Argentina Tuesday.

“Once the report by [national team coach] Prof. Jorge Célico was analyzed, where the facts are explained in detail, the directory UNANIMOUSLY resolved to INDEFINITELY SUSPEND the five players who participated in the act from all Ecuador national team appearances,” the FEF said in a statement. “In this way, the FEF wishes to set a very severe precedent for future call-ups.”

Plata posted Friday afternoon on Twitter, apologizing for his actions.

RSL coach Mike Petke would not confirm reports earlier on Friday that Plata had been suspended from the Ecuador national team, nor reveal how the reported suspension might affect his playing time with RSL.

“To me, that is not corroborated yet,” Petke said. “… I don’t go on leaks. I don’t go on rumors or anything like that. It’s good to have Joao back. I had a good conversation with him. We’re going to see where he’s at, and then anything further that will be in-house with the player and I, and the front office and I.”

Plata finally made his way back on the Ecuador national team this month, earning his first call-up since 2014 for Ecuador’s last two 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. The 25-year-old winger has earned four caps with Ecuador’s senior team.