An uncontrolled melee in the stands results in a slap on the wrist; in Veracruz, everything appears hunky-dory (fingers crossed).
Atlético de San Luis emerged from its Liga MX disciplinary hearing with only a two-game stadium ban and a 500,000-peso fine. That sanction handed down after the deplorable acts of violence that took place at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras on Sunday. El Universal Deportes reported that the penalties could have been (should have been) worse.
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The Liga MX Disciplinary Committee bent to San Luis ownership’s request and hit the club with a two-game ban (their next two home games can be played at home, but no fans can attend), the fine and restrictions on the team’s “fan clubs.”
A similar punishment was issued against the Querétaro team. They must sever ties to “fan clubs” (or porras) for the rest of the season, and that goes for both home games and away games. The Querétaro porras have earned a reputation in some parts as hooligans, but it would not be fair to say they alone instigated the brawling on Sunday.
Liga MX drops the ball
Instead of truly targeting fan violence, the league proved once again that it is easily dissuaded from taking a strong stand on issues of public interest.
Last month, Liga MX officials waved a weak stick against América coach Miguel Herrera who had lambasted match officials using derogatory and homophobic slurs. League rules state that such action “by players, coaches or team officials” merits a minimum 5-game ban. Herrera was given only a 3-game suspension and his team – owned by league titan Televisa – was not sanctioned.
A Liga MX media release explained that Herrera had “shown remorse” although the committee did not even meet with the coach nor did it order him to attend an anti-discrimination course. One league official even suggested Herrera’s outburst was not genuinely homophobic, arguing that the words in question have alternate meanings.
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So, back to San Luis. The Tuneros will get to play América at home on Oct. 29 and the host Necaxa on Nov. 9, after which they’ll be able to sell tickets to home games again.
As far as their “fan clubs” (ironically defined as “grupos de animación” in the report), San Luis must keep them out of their stadium the rest of the season. That’s not such a difficult penalty to uphold since San Luis only has two more home games during the Apertura 2019, unless they make the playoffs. The club also is prohibited from sponsoring the “fan clubs” and acquiring tickets for them at away games either.
San Luis must also reimburse anybody who has already purchased tickets for the América game set for next Tuesday.
Veracruz settlement reached?
Tiburones players met with owner Fidel Kuri and negotiated a settlement for their unpaid back wages. Leobardo López – one of the Veracruz team captains – said Kuri satisfied their varied demands, so the players and staff will go through the process established by the Liga MX to get backpay.
Most of the team had been reluctant to begin the league-established process for fear that they would not get all the salaries and bonuses due. The agreement with Kuri included a promise from ownership to make up any shortfall in the league funds handed out.
Forty-one senior team players reported to the offices set up in Veracruz by the Liga MX Dispute Management Committee to file formal grievances. Also filling out their paperwork were the entire rosters of the Veracruz Under-20 and Under-17 teams, as well as the players on the women’s team. The Dispute Management Committee will review each case individually and, if approved, the players will be paid from the special fund set up by Liga MX headquarters.
As the Chivas turn …
Some moves new general manager Ricardo Peláez might want to make in January when he takes over the Guadalajara front office might be impossible, no matter how much sense they make.
Early speculation about Peláez’s wish list for the Chivas included Cruz Azul stars Roberto Alvarado and Elías Hernández, both of whom Peláez signed when he was the Cementeros’ sporting director. That might not be so easy after the ruckus that led to the messy divorce.
As Cruz Azul was resolving a messy judicial procedure, former executive vice president Víctor Garcés re-entered the picture and claimed he was in charge. Garcés took over the coaching search that had begun when Pedro Caixinha was fired on Sept. 4. Peláez was negotiating with Antonio Mohamed to become the new Cruz Azul coach, but Garcés vetoed the move.
The disgruntled Peláez quit unceremoniously, blaming Garcés for chaos in the Cruz Azul front office. Just this past week, Garcés took a swipe at Peláez, revealing his exorbitant salary at Cruz Azul, and accusing him of favoring the player agent Carlos Hurtado. As such, the likelihood of the Cementeros dealing with Peláez and the Chivas might be remote.
The new sporting director will also have to be delicate in how he handles the coaching situation. Odds are Peláez will bring in his own coach (former Monterrey manager Diego Alonso is the odds-on favorite), but Luis Fernando Tena won’t go without pleading his case. The veteran has had a distinguished career and Peláez won’t want to come in and “go all Jerry Jones on Tom Landry,” so to speak.
Tena told reporters this week he’d like to stay on the job and thinks a good finish to the Apertura 2019 should allow him to stay in place. That remains to be seen.
Tune in next week for the next episode of …. As the Chivas turn.