Cruz Azul, one of Mexico’s most decorated and followed teams, and the highest ranked club before the 2020 Clausura was suspended have landed in hot water after its owner and executives had their bank accounts frozen in the middle of a criminal investigation.
Cooperativa La Cruz Azul, Mexico’s most successful and recognized cement company, owns La Maquina and it is its owner—Guillermo Alvarez Cuevas—along with other higher-ups—Jose Alfredo Alvarez and Victor Manuel Garces—who are being investigated by Mexican authorities for suspicion of money laundering and possible links to organized crime.
Televisa’s Denise Maerker was one of the first to report the news. Her breaking news report in Spanish can be found below.
ÚLTIMA HORA— Denise Maerker (@DeniseMaerker) May 29, 2020
La Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera de Hacienda congeló las cuentas de Billy Álvarez, de su hermano José Alfredo, y de Victor Manuel Garcés, directivos de la cooperativa Cruz Azul por delincuencia organizada pic.twitter.com/dGaZ3PYOla
According to Maerker, the investigation has been brought to the cement executives after $1.2 billion Mexican pesos was detected moving irregularly in between countries.
It’s worth the reminder that Liga MX signed an agreement with the federal government last November to prevent its football teams from falling into illicit conduct such as money laundering, although it’s unclear at this point whether or not the team, Cruz Azul, was involved in this case.
Cruz Azul coach Robert Siboldi is set to receive a well-earned contract extension after leading his team to the top of the Liga MX table through the 10 games of the 2020 Clausura, including an eight-game unbeaten run. The squad was also gifted with a berth in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League for finishing first in the suspended season.
More details still need to come out about this matter, but there is a possibility that Cruz Azul get disaffiliated from the league as a result of these claims, should they turn out to be true. According to Article 66, subsection D, from the Mexican football federation’s regulation book, a club can lose affiliation if its “owners or executives engage in criminal acts, as judged upon by the Executive Committee.”
¡DE ÚLTIMO MOMENTO!— Analistas (@_Analistas) May 29, 2020
Cruz Azul podría ser Desafiliado del fútbol Mexicano y descender automáticamente. Tras la noticia de televisa con Denise Maerker, que anunció que el presidente, y vicepresidentes estarían implicados en el narcotrafico.
Así lo dice el reglamento. pic.twitter.com/VEh6n6cKfM
Mexican football can offer a ton of a spectacle. That’s greatly welcomed on the pitch, but largely detested off of it. That’s because in Mexico, the spectacles, or rather, debacles that go down off the pitch can negatively impact the league’s global reputation.
Over the last few months, since world football was stopped due to a global pandemic, that has been the case. Liga MX shut down its season last week, but the headlines have kept coming.
From promotion and relegation being suspended for five years, to Monarcas Morelia possibly being relocated to Mazatlan, to now new reports of Queretaro not paying captain Jair Pereira since the season was cut short.
Add in the news of Mexican legend Benjamin Galindo suffering a stroke and it turns into a rather melancholy week for football fans in Mexico.