MEXICO CITY – "Justino (Compean, FMF chief), it is the time to step down. Decio (de Maria, Liga MX president), it is the time to step down." These are the tweets I sent just seconds apart. The soccer scandal was just moments away. "Allow me to weep," I should have posted. It came from my heart. However, in the midst of this painful feeling, I had another very revealing one: "It is great we are not going to the World Cup. Mexico needs radical changes," I said to myself.
While Panama began its celebration based on their supposed qualification for the playoff, in Mexico hearts shrank... up to the time the United States mercifully scored its goal. A tie with the flavor of glory for the Mexicans. The third American goal gave El Tri a bit of breathing room in its quest to reach Brazil in 2014.
We are "alive," although we don't deserve it. With an outstretched hand. We receive the alms of a playoff, while trying to hide the obvious. The structure of Mexican soccer is good for nothing, rotting, without direction in an organization that today gives off more shame than pride.
Thanks USA!— René Tovar Rodríguez (@Rene_Tovar) October 16, 2013
As we shout "goal," we are also advertising our own poverty. We worship chaos, anarchy, tolerance for bad performance, without caring, since we are allowed to continue enjoying this sport, which for years has been navigating in a sea of mediocrity with a few bright spots here and there.
If we qualify for the World Cup will we continue developing our soccer? I doubt it. It's a proven fact underhandedness and corruption kept us out of the World Cup in Italy in 1990 (Mexico was banned). It left us with a dirty system and at moments the team was taken hostage by the true owners of soccer.
(Argentine coach Cesar Luis) Menotti came, and according to those who followed him, found important ways to make our football grow, which we still remember today. The 1990s found Mexico showing strong growth in soccer, supported for years afterwards by managers such as Miguel Mejia Baron, Manuel Lapuente, Javier 'El Vasco' Aguirre and Ricardo La Volpe, who put Mexico on the World Cup map playing toe-to-toe against rivals such as the Argentinean powerhouse.
South Africa was the first stumbling block. Our first signs of regression. 'El Vasco' left a bad taste in the mouth after World Cup 2010. There was nothing to rescue, much less remember, except for (defender Ricardo) Osorio, (goalkeeper Oscar Perez) 'Conejo's' insertion in the starting eleven, the inclusion of (forward) Guille (Franco) and the senseless (Adolfo) 'Bofo' Bautista.
On Tuesday night, we were minutes away from mourning the greatest failure of Mexican soccer, which remains latent for a possible loss against New Zealand next month. It is a miracle we are still alive in the World Cup quest. It might be shameful, but at the same time we can enjoy watching the downfall of an administration that has only been interested in financial growth to the detriment of the team's performance, even allowing the sponsors to grope the national team members.
Would it be worth it to be sitting at home? Should we be beggaring ourselves into a World Cup through its play-in games? Can we seriously envision ourselves playing the fifth game (reaching the World Cup quarterfinals) with Victor Manuel Vucetich. Do they think Mexico will be a major player? Anything is possible.
Whatever happens, if Mexico makes it to the World Cup, we will do so with the baggage we have been carrying for years on end.
Call me crazy. When Mexico was close to being eliminated there was a bittersweet flavor to it. Let's be honest: I don't know why I have the feeling that we should be eliminated and even personally happy about it. We need a catastrophe in the sport. Don't get me wrong. I'm still Mexican, but I'm tired of the organization being cleaned up in bits and pieces, when the need is for a major overhaul, as was done 20 years ago.