Nothing with Mexico soccer is ever boring and apparently that applies to the under-22 team they are sending to Copa America. Eight players have been kicked off of the team and suspended for six months for violation of team rules stemming from a prostitution scandal at the team hotel in Quito, Ecuador.
Earlier this month, Mexico's Gold Cup started with five players being suspended for positive doping tests that the Mexican Football Federation said was caused by tainted meat. That didn't stop the team from rolling through the tournament and taking home the trophy thanks to a fantastic group of young attacking talent, but now they face more controversy.
"I am not going into details of what happened,'' said Hector Gonzalez Inarritu, director of national teams selection. "The rules were broken, the code of discipline was broken and I have to act. The players confessed. They are very hurt, very sorry and they have said they are sorry to their fans.''
The team is facing their second prostitution scandal in the last year for Mexico after players were caught with prostitutes last September. That scandal led to two suspensions and 13 players in total being punished by the FMF.
Barcelona's Jonathan dos Santos, the younger brother of Gold Cup star Giovani dos Santos, is one of the players involved in the most recent scandal. Joining him in six month suspensions are Israel Jimenez, Nestor Vidrio, Marco Fabian, Jorge Hernandez, Javier Cortes, David Cabrera and Nestor Calderon.
The violation of team rules was uncovered when the players reported stolen iPads and iPhones from their rooms. Security tapes showed the players bringing the prostitutes to their rooms. In addition to their suspensions, the players were fined $4,100.
Because Mexico's top team just competed in the Gold Cup, Mexico sent a team of youngsters to South America for Copa America. They will open their tournament on July 4 against Chile as part of Group C action. All eight players will be replaced on the roster with Kristian Alvarez, Antonio Gallardo, Edgar Pacheco, Alan Pulido, Emilio Orrantia, Ulises Davila, Diego de Buen and Oswaldo Alanis taking their spots.