After almost four years on the U.S. Treasury sanction list, Envigado, the club that brought James Rodríguez through the ranks saw sanctions being lifted, and are free to do business again with American companies.
Envigado has been lifted off the list of ‘Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons’, also known as the Clinton List. The club, known for their great youth structure responsible for the likes of James Rodríguez, Fredy Guarín, Juan Fernando Quintero, Mateus Uribe and Giovanni Moreno, was sanctioned since November 19 2014 for alleged ties with the Oficina de Envigado drugs cartel, through its then owner and majority shareholder Juan Pablo Upegui. By breaking ties completely with Upegui, Envigado have had the ban overturned.
On April 26, the US Treasury Department released a statement confirming the lifting of the sanctions, “OFAC lifted sanctions on Envigado Fútbol Club after the Colombian government and the soccer [football] team undertook extensive efforts that severed the club’s former ties with the criminal influence of La Oficina de Envigado.”
The lifting of the sanctions mean that, according to the statement, “there is no longer any prohibition on transactions or dealings by U.S. persons, or within the United States, in property or interests in property of the Envigado F.C. U.S. persons are permitted to enter into financial transactions with the team and any assets that the team may have had in the United States are now unblocked.”
In the previous years, Envigado had fielded a team mainly comprised of youngsters from their academy, with sporadic success. In the six seasons after the club received the sanction, Envigado reached the top eight only once, but the third club in Medellín did avoid relegation throughout those years. This season they won’t take part in the season finale, after a defeat courtesy of Millonarios last week.
The team known as La cantera de héroes, a reference to their acknowledged youth academy, celebrated the news with a new kit and a new logo in an attempt to get rid of the past.