Liga MX: Last two unbeatens fall in Week 7

Santos and San Luis players got into a shoving match late in their Week 7 game. Allegations of racism were raised after the match. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
Santos and San Luis players got into a shoving match late in their Week 7 game. Allegations of racism were raised after the match. (Photo by Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images) /

And then there were none. That’s the headline coming out of the Liga MX after Santos and Tijuana were handed their first losses of the Guardianes 2021 season. Or it would be if not for controversies being (mis)managed by the league office.

Santos suffered its first setback of the season at San Luis on Friday night, but the 1-0 loss has been overshadowed by accusations of racism leveled against the home side. Santos Laguna defender Félix Torres claims that racist insults were hurled at him by at least one player during a late-game melee in front of the San Luis bench.

Santos team officials backed their player, publicly identifying the man suspected of verbally attacking the Ecuador defender. Although Torres appeared to touch off the fracas by shoving a ball boy who was keeping the ball out of play, racism has no place in the game.

An investigation is reportedly under way, but three days after the incident Liga MX officials were tight-lipped about the probe.

Liga MX must deal with ineligible player snafu

Confusion reigned at Estadio Azteca on Saturday night after América striker Federico Viñas warmed up with the team and sat on the bench during the first half. The problem was that the Uruguayan’s name was not on the official list of eligible players for the game.

Once the oversight was recognized, América sent Viñas into the stands for the second half, but the violation of Liga MX rules was undeniable. The penalty for using an ineligible player (even if he does not appear in the game) is quite explicit – the team is charged with a loss. If the penalty is applied, América would lose the 3 points collected from the 2-0 win and fall out of first place.

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Now it appears that the club and team ownership – the powerful Televisa TV network – are blaming the officials for the mistake. The claim is that the fourth official omitted Viñas’ name, or overlooked it (several excuses have been floated).

The refs, for their part, are furious especially as they are the subject of regular criticism (most of it well-deserved). It remains to be seen if they will take any action (threatening a strike?) if the game officials are scapegoated.

One columnist likened the controversy to the Liga MX of the 80s when powerful interests including Televisa controlled the league and transparency was considerably worse than it is today.

Gerardo Vázquez de León argued that more than 3 points are at stake. The league’s credibility and the legitimacy of the new league management team is at issue.

Xolos beaten by Tigres

Heading into their Sunday night match vs the Tigres, Tijuana boasted a 3-3-0 record and was aiming to match their win total from last season’s disastrous campaign. That notion was quickly dashed as the Tigres found the net only 3 minutes in and doubled their lead before the half.

The 3-2 final score is misleading as both Xolos goals came after minute 90. Despite the reversal, Tijuana sits in fourth place. However, up next for “Los Rojinegros” is a visit to the other Monterrey powerhouse, the Rayados.

Next. Liga MX By the Numbers. dark

Elsewhere, León won a rematch of last season’s Liga MX Final, handing UNAM its first home loss in nearly a year, while Cruz Azul won its fifth straight (3-2 over visiting Toluca) after an 0-0-2 start.