Mexico players' union boss slams silent federation chief over pro/rel, Veracruz issue

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The president of the Mexico's players' union (AMFpro) Alvaro Ortiz has slammed Mexican federation (FMF) president Yon de Luisa for his silence at a time promotion and relegation has been suspended and former Veracruz players have gone unpaid.

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Ortiz remains upset that players weren't consulted about the suspension of pro/rel for six years between Mexico's top two divisions and how quickly it was pushed through during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

"That the federation president [De Luisa] came out to say [in a statement] that they are supporting players is a total lie," said Ortiz in an interview with ESPN Mexico. "You'll see that the head of the federation hasn't even come out to say one single word about the situation that our football is going through."

"Incredibly, today the players don't have support from the top, that's the reality," he continued.

Full details about what the second division will look like without pro/rel are yet to emerge, although it is widely expected to include an age limit, with reports suggesting it'll involve a maximum of eight players over the age of 23 per squad.

Ortiz stated that players' families have been left out of the decision-making process.

"I told them: 'Don't do this now, we can plan, we have to speak to players, with those affected,'" Ortiz said. "It's been said to [Liga MX president] Enrique Bonilla, but you have to understand he's a employee like us. The image that's being given out internationally is that it's not important, that the sporting side isn't important and even less the footballer's human side."

The AMFpro is also considering suing the FMF over the unpaid wage payments to former Veracruz players, who were promised that the issue would be resolved after the disaster club descended into disarray last year, eventually being kicked out of the league.

Ortiz opined that it was "incredible" that the league has found 60 million pesos ($2.5 million USD) as a rescue package to the second division clubs "so that accept they another [type of] league," but that "players are still not being paid" because, according to Ortiz, the surety company hasn't yet paid the league.

ESPN has learned from sources that there are former Veracruz players and members of the coaching staff that have struggled to pay mortgages and even schooling costs for their children, with the lack of payment coming at a time many have also taken salary cuts due to the coronavirus crisis.

Ortiz also slammed the lack of unity between players and amongst ownership groups, indicating that Mexican football has behaved like an "international embarrassment."