Mexican Side Veracruz Concede Two Goals While Refusing To Play In Protest At Unpaid Wages
By Tom Sanders
Bizarre scenes took place in the Mexican league last night as home side Veracruz conceded two goals in the first four minutes while protesting at unpaid wages.
Visiting side Tigres watched on for the first minute, but then provoked outrage by taking advantage of their opponents' refusal to play and scoring two goals in the space of two minutes.
Incredible scenes in Mexico tonight :flag_mx:
Veracruz refused to play at the start of their Liga MX match against Tigres to protest several months of unpaid wages
So Tigres went and scored three goals in the first eight minutes :scream: :scream:
:movie_camera:: @UnivDeportes pic.twitter.com/m4NZQQ9Li5
- Goal (@goal) October 19, 2019
The away side were sparked into action after Veracruz goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado kicked the ball out, which was picked up by Tigres striker Eduardo Vargas, who scored the opener in the second minute.
It was shortly followed up by another strike from Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored his 100th Liga MX goal a minute later to make it 2-0 after 3:55.
Although Veracruz started to play shortly after that, they soon found themselves 3-0 down in under eight minutes as Vargas netted his second goal of the game.
Although Colin Kazim-Richards scored a late consolation for Veracruz, it was too little too late and satisfied neither the players nor the fans, who were outraged at Tigres' disrespect of the home side.
At full-time the Tigres players were sarcastically clapped off the pitch by the Veracruz players, who were visibly furious by their opponents' decision to cross the picket-line.
Los jugadores de Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz le aplauden sarcásticamente a los de Tigres. pic.twitter.com/b85bxWKGCS
- Dale Tiburón - Tiburones Rojos (@DaleTiburonCom) October 19, 2019
Veracruz owner Fidel Kuri said that he was "embarrassed for the fans" after the match and admitted that Tigres were well within their rights to score their two goals.
"The players wanted to send a message that wasn't discussed, but they are in their right," said Kuri. "We were once again the joke of the nation, or the world with this topic."
When questioned during the post-match interview, Tigres captain Guido Pizarro admitted that the two clubs had agreed to a "one minute" protest ahead of the game, but that just before kick-off the Veracruz players insisted on a "three to five" minute protest instead.
"For them to make us responsible for a protest that they were making to their president I think is an error," said Pizarro.
"We came here, respected what they put in the group (about a one-minute protest) ... and went through with it."
Many Veracruz players have not been paid for over six months, which has led to mass unrest among both the squad and fan base. The players had planned to boycott the game but changed their tactics after being told that they would be relegated if they did not play.
Veracruz are now winless in 40 Liga MX games, with their last victory coming in August 2018.