Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre’s job as Mexico national team coach is secure – at least for now.
De la Torre, whose team is struggling in World Cup qualification and who was booed off the field after Mexico’s second loss to Panama in Gold Cup, received a vote of confidence after an emergency meeting Monday of the club presidents in the Mexico football federation.
“The team owners have been in conversation since Thursday and we aren’t justifying the situation we are in, we don’t like it but we all have the goal of qualifying for the World Cup,” federation president Justino Compean said Monday of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “There were loud voices that were not happy but in the end we joined together for the same objective, which is qualification. We invited the coach to be as transparent as possible.”
Compean said he stressed the importance of continuity to the 12 club presidents during the federation meeting.
“We trust ‘Chepo’ and his coaching staff,” Compean said. “Jose Manuel is the best option for the national team, there is time to remedy the poor results in the qualifier and reach the World Cup. The results will prove us right.”
CONCACAF World Cup qualifying picks up in September with four matches remaining. The U.S. sits atop the six-country qualifying tournament with 13 points, followed by Costa Rica with 11. Mexico is third with eight, followed by Honduras and Panama with seven and six, respectively. The top three finishers in the Hex earn automatic berths for Brazil.
Club Pachuca vice president Andres Fassi said he voted to end De la Torre’s tenure. “Our group with Pachuca and Leon and two other clubs were inclined to see a change and end this but Justino (Compean) asked us to support the majority he said was in agreement to provide continuity and support.”
The team owners asked De la Torre to address “four or five items that have to do with the election of players, with the dynamic that needs to be imposed on the team, with the football ideal that needs to be imposed, with the situation that the team needs to be more aggressive, especially at home and of course, with the goal that a change has to come in short amount of time to reach qualifying,” Fassi said.
Fassi added that the debate over De la Torre’s merits is over.
“We are part of the institution and ‘Chepo’ will have all of our support.”