Eight Mexico Players Kicked Off Copa America Team In Prostitution Scandal

Eight Mexico players, including Barcelona's Jonathan dos Santos, have been kicked off of the team's Copa America team and suspended for six months after a prostitution scandal.

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Prostitution Suspensions Cripple Mexico's Attack - FMF State Of Mind

Mexico are courting controversy once more ahead of a major tournament. One might have imagined that the team would be sick of negative attention following the doping scandal that was unveiled during the group stages of the Gold Cup, but there's been yet another bizarre incident in the very next tournament El Tri are participating in, where eight young players have been sent home from the Copa America after being caught up in a scandal involving prostitution.

Some of these players represented Mexico's best hopes of making waves in the Copa America, including Nestor Vidrio, Barcelona's Jonathan dos Santos, Javier Cortes and Marco Fabian. While replacements for the eight sent home have been drafted in, none of them can match the production of the likes of dos Santos and Cortes, leading Kevin McCauley of SB Nation's Mexican futbol blog FMF State of Mind to conclude that Mexico's ability at both striker and winger has been catastrophically compromised:

Mexico's Copa America squad is [now] without a young striker who plays regularly for his club, which is a problem. Rafael Marquez Lugo and Oribe Peralta both play regular football, but neither is the future of the national team. Ulises Davila and Alan Pulido are both talented, but neither plays regularly.

The team is now thin when it comes to talented wingers as well. Cortes and Fabian are two of the best wide players in Mexico and both almost certainly have a future with the senior national team, this incident aside. They will be, arguably, the focal points of the Chivas and Pumas attacks in this coming season, and they would have brought a lot to the team. Now, everyone on the side is either better playing centrally or nowhere near the talent of Cortes and Fabian.

Mexico are now in real trouble in terms of getting out of the group stages, where they have to deal with Alexis Sanchez's Chile and the glittering attacking talent of Uruguay. They were long shots to get a result against those two teams anyway, but that task has been made infinitely harder by the decision to send the eight involved home. Would the same had happened if it had been Mexico's Gold Cup hopes on the line?

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Eight Mexico Players Kicked Off Copa America Team In Prostitution Scandal

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.

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