World Cup fallout: El Tri sags, but FMF boss on safe ground

Yon de Luisa (center) is flanked by national teams director Jaime Ordiales (left) and El Tri manager Gerardo Martino. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)
Yon de Luisa (center) is flanked by national teams director Jaime Ordiales (left) and El Tri manager Gerardo Martino. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) /
El Tri FMF chief
El Tri coach Gerardo Martino is a lonely man in Qatar. The Argentine will step down after the World Cup. (Photo by Khalil Bashar/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

Many El Tri pundits – and fans – threw “Tata” Martino under the bus long ago, and Mexico’s performance thus far in Qatar seems to confirm that the animadversion and censure hurled at the embattled coach is justifiable.

But now the pitchfork is being brandished at Mexican Soccer Federation president Yon de Luisa. Calls for the FMF leader to be brought on the carpet are echoing across social media and even in print.

And that’s not just ire at the team’s poor showing at the World Cup, the subpar qualifying campaign (El Tri finished second but scored just 17 goals in 14 matches) was a frequent target of invective.

De Luisa was equally alarmed, it seems, as he reportedly considered firing “Tata” just weeks ahead of kick-off in Qatar.

El Tri performance secondary to revenue stream

The FMF boss is unlikely to face a coup or even much of an inquisition. Local beat reporters claim he’ll avoid the chopping block because the majority of Liga MX owners support him.

The approval comes primarily because El Tri is a lucrative business (whether the team wins or loses so as long as De Luisa keeps the financial side of the operation running smoothly, he’s safe in his job for the rest of his term.

This despite a rather unimpressive record as chief of Mexican fútbol, as the tweet above outlines:

  1. First loyalty is to Televisa
  2. Failed to qualify in men’s or women’s soccer for Paris Olympics
  3. Women failed to qualify for the World Cup
  4. Disastrous performance in Qatar
  5. Twice declining to accept Martino’s offer to resign
  6. The Liga MX still lacks promotion/demotion incentive
  7. The Liga MX still lacks rules promoting youth development

The failure to accept Martino’s resignation has become a hot topic since the coach’s offers to step down were not widely known. Had De Luisa acted, he might have been able to change the trajectory of El Tri as the squad struggled through qualifying.

In addition, the team’s long-term outlook might be on firmer ground. As it is, El Tri has the second-oldest roster in Qatar and some promising young players saw their development stultify. That’s not a good trend heading toward the 2026 World Cup that Mexico will be co-hosting.

It would seem the priority is on milking the cash cow that El Tri has become instead of developing a solid fútbol program, or so the nay-sayers would have you believe.

Next. El Tri must embrace "Dumb and Dumber" axiom. dark

For now, all El Tri fans can do is hope their heroes can rediscover some confidence and figure out how to get the ball in the net. It’s that or trudge back home this week.