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Referee strike halts Mexican league

The Mexican top flight’s games have been suspended for the weekend, with the match officials refusing to work after poor treatment from players.PHOTO/courtesy

MEXICO CITY, Mexico, March 11 – Mexican referees went on strike Friday in protest at light punishment for players who attack match officials, forcing the weekend league programme to be abandoned.

The programme “has been suspended because designated referees… refused to officiate,” said a statement from the Mexican Football Federation.

Referees say that under federation rules, players who attack referees must be suspended from the game for one year.

But the federation announced Friday that two players had been handed lighter bans.

Toluca’s Argentinian Enrique Triverio, who elbowed a referee during his team’s defeat by Morelia during the Mexican Cup was banned for eight games.

Paraguayan Pablo Aguilar, who plays for the club América and head-butted the referee in the Wednesday match against Tijuana, was suspended for 10 games.

When the sanctions were announced, strike action was launched immediately by match officials preparing to officiate at Friday’s league match between Veracruz and Puebla, the first league match of the weekend.

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