Pumas are ridiculed after returning to the playoffs

The Liguilla started with a strong America and lies from the Referees’ Commission, which is apparently willing to let go of some referees for incompetence
Pumas are ridiculed after returning to the playoffs
Players of Pumas F.C. team after a match - Photo: Imago7 Sports Photo Agency
Mexico City
“Merits of the case” is an Opinion Sports Editorial by Gerardo Velázquez de León
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The way Pumas F.C. were put to shame at the start of the Mexico Football Playoffs (Liguilla) was not enough to hide an ambiguous and disloyal claim made by Arturo Brizio, just a few hours before the game, at the Mexican Football Federation. He justified Adalid Maganda’s layoff saying it was caused by his incompetence and that it was not the consequence of a racist act, as has been pointed out by the referee from the state of Guerrero. This has started a controversy that Brizio will have to address immediately.

The incompetence Brizio refers to is no different to that shown by Luis Enrique Santander, who gave away a penalty kick to America F.C., or that of Jorge Antonio Pérez Durán at the game of Tigres F.C. vs Monterrey F.C. from last Saturday. That is to say that every referee chosen by the Referees’ Commission is incompetent and yet none of them have been fired except Maganda. It would be nice if Santander was fired once and for all because the fans have realized that he is completely useless as a referee.

Pumas' return to the Liguilla was a disaster. America understood from the first minute that, in order to score a goal, they had to make way for their star players. Ménez, Domínguez, but especially Matheus Uribe, managed to give energy, depth and an essence that hadn’t been felt in the last few games of the regular tournament. But their rival isn’t a proper parameter to determine that America is the steamroller that their fans want to see, but yesterday, it adhered to the team’s most basic principle: to destroy, obliterate and humiliate the hated rival.

Should America lose these playoffs, it would be the most representative catastrophe of their career. As visitors, they scored four goals, secured an advantage in the teams’ positions and they will face Pumas again in the Estadio Azteca, leaving no chance of recovery for David Patiño’s team, which is pushing its way out of the playoffs without effort. Many of the institution’s players are thinking of throwing the towel for good. Nicolás Castillo, for example, will be impossible to retain during the recruitment summer.

This victory will be beneficial to Miguel Herrera. Even though he hasn’t won anything yet, since his return, it is still extremely satisfactory for America’s fans to humiliate Pumas. At this point, if the team chooses to change their strategy for the game on Saturday, it would equal throwing everything away and losing the image they gave in Ciudad Universitaria, the main Campus of National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The Liguilla, thus, started with a strong America and lies from the Referees’ Commission, which is apparently willing to let go of some referees for incompetence while the truly incompetent get to keep their jobs. The Commission defends their negligence by saying that mistakes are human. Last Friday, Mario Terrazas’ performance during the woman’s final in Monterrey was embarrassing and, as far as we know, no one has fired him yet.

English version by David Morales


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