Swine flu politics: CONMEBOL reneges on the FMF

The Mexican Football Federation announced they were breaking all ties with CONMEBOL, canceling Copa Sudamericana, Copa America, and Copa Libertadores appearances. The fallout was set in motion when Nacional and San Paulo refused to travel to Mexico for their third round matches against San Luis and Chivas Gualdajara because of fears associated with the swine flu outbreak.
Nacional and Sao Paulo could not come to a subsequent agreement over alternate venues. San Luis and Chivas Gualdajara then withdrew from the Copa.
The FMF is particularly infuriated because it was given to understand that in lieu, COMNEBOL would give five spots to Mexican clubs instead of the three next year’s Libertadores competition. But CONMEBOL seems to have had a sudden change of heart ordering the Mexican clubs to play one off matches at Sao Paulo and Montevideo. Controversy surrounds the CONMEBOL volte face. Were officials on the same page? It appears there is a rift between Julio Grondona, a powerful FIFA vice president and the head of the AFA, the CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz, and Ricardo Texeira, the CBF head and a FIFA member.
Grondona and Leoz’s original position in sync with FIFA regulations, was to allow next year’s expansion of spots available for the Mexican clubs, which is what Justino Compean, the FMF president received in his first communication. But the decision did not sit well with the CBF, and Ricardo Texeira appears to have exerted pressure on Leoz. In the meantime, Grondona also realized that they were losing money by foregoing these matches, thus there was a volte face.
This has set of a firestorm in Mexico, with CONMEBOL being accused of heavy handed chauvinism and favouritism towards the South American clubs. There is a feeling that the Mexican clubs have been shut out because the South Americans also feared an upset. The CONMEBOL decision came a day after Mexican health authorities had declared stadiums safe to reopen to the public. Meanwhile, an internet war has broken out between Mexican and Argentine fans.
I have a solution: Smithfield’s public relations have taken a beating. Preliminary investigations show that pig farms operated by a Mexican subsidiary of the Virginia based Smithfield company, the world’s largest producer of pork and pork products could be the probable locus of the epidemic. How about Smithfield rehabilitating its image by footing the costs of playing the matches here in the USA? Everyone walks out happy.

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2 comments on “Swine flu politics: CONMEBOL reneges on the FMF
  1. The Argentinian FA and the Brazilian FA are afraid of Mexican teams. Mexican club teams have become a paradise of sorts for out of favor or budding Argentinian football and Brazilian footballers. These players have given Mexican football teams a powerful elixir to best the best of Argentinian and Brazilian club teams. Meanwhile, budding Brazilian and Argentinian footballers leave for greener pastures forcing many of their teams to enter weakened against stronger Mexican teams. Mexican teams have done really well in Copa Libetadores. I would have preferred CONMEBOL to allow 5 Mexican teams to play in Copa Libetadores. This volte face by CONMEBOL ensures that Argentinian and Brazilian teams will rule the roost of South American club football team in the absence of a growing potency of Mexican teams. What a shame! Tecos, Indios, American and Atlante can play some great football. I also think that the Argentinian felt racially inferior when the Mexicans were pumeling their beloved Boca and Independiente.

  2. ForcaBarca
    Thanks for the inside look.
    I think there is a desire in the MLS to bring those Mexican clubs over here for their matches. As bitter as the relations are between the FMF and CONMEBOL, ultimately playing against tougher competition might prove to be the reason why they will re-associate themselves. It benefits clubs on both sides, plus, the transfered players bring in good money for the Argentine and Brazil clubs.

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