LIGA MX Referees on Strike, No Xolos Game this Weekend

Credit: LIga MX

Week 10 of the Liga MX Clausura 2017 has been postponed until further notice because the referees have gone on strike.

The Tijuana Xolos did not play this weekend, along with all other teams in the Liga MX.

The problem at hand is respect towards the match officials. This has been an ongoing problem in the Liga MX for years now, but just recently the problem really got out of hand. Referees are subject to criticism in every game they officiate. This has been displayed in nearly all of Miguel Herrera’s post-game press conferences and throughout the Liga MX. The problem is when that criticism is brought forth in a different manner, when the words are replaced with violent acts.

This was seen in two different instances on Wednesday, March 8, during the Copa MX playoffs round of 16. One of the incidents came in the game between Toluca and Monarcas Morelia at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. Near the end of the match, in the 85th minute of the encounter, midfielder, Jesus Mendez, picked up his second yellow card of the game, which meant he would be sent off by referee, Miguel Angel Flores. Mendez complained about the booking and then laid a hand on the official. Some of Toluca’s players then got in Flores’ face. Goalkeeper, Alfredo Talavera, would be sent off. Then midfielder, Enrique Triverio sarcastically clapped at the referee’s actions and proceeded to push him. Triverio would also receive a red card in this short span of time.

The other incident on the very same day came at the Estadio Caliente in the match between the Tijuana Xolos and Club America. The Xolos won the game by a score of 1-0 and knocked Club America out of the competition. The ‘Aguilas’ were frustrated with the result, especially Pablo Aguilar, who charged at referee, Fernando Hernandez, after the game and made contact with his head on the official.  Aguilar did get a red card for his actions. After the match, Club America Sporting President, Ricardo Pelaez, also confronted Fernando Hernandez near the tunnels leading to the dressing rooms, which also crosses a line.

Aguilar, Pelaez, and Triverio did get individual sanctions for their actions. Pablo Aguilar received a 10-game suspension, Triverio an 8-game suspension, and Ricardo Pelaez a fine of only $7,500. The referees felt the sanction to these figures was an insult. If a player does what Aguilar and Triverio did, it states in the rule book that a suspension of one year is required. Pelaez also got away easy with a mockery of a fine, after crossing the line and confronting referee, Fernando Hernandez.

This Friday, March 10, the match between Veracruz and Puebla was suspended because the officials left the stadium. It was later announced that week 10 of the Liga MX Clausura 2017 would be postponed until further notice because the referees were not going to officiate in any matches this week. As of now, an agreement is expected to be reached by Monday, before the quarterfinals of the Copa MX this Tuesday.

Many fans, journalists, and head coaches have mixed feelings about the situation. Some people think this is a big step towards improving the Liga MX, while others just want to see the ball roll. Xolos’ head coach, Miguel Herrera, shared his opinions about the situation on Univision Deportes. Herrera said, “Today they lack respect to the clubs and especially to the fans”. This week of inactivity in the league affects a lot of people, and also the schedule of the league going forward.

For now, we will have to wait until at least Tuesday to see the Aztec Canines back in action on the pitch. Hopefully, a resolution is reached by then. Fuerza Tijuas!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 20, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College, I have been a Padres fan all my life, huge soccer fan as well. I do not need the NFL in my life. In it for the passion not for the money.

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