Following his alleged domestic violence charge by his own wife in March, Renato Ibarra was ensuingly separated from the rest of the América squad. Although the charges were eventually dropped, this did not prove the violent acts weren’t committed. A video circulated showing Ibarra holding what appeared to be a lamp he was using to threaten to hit his wife. If that’s not physical abuse, it’s psychological or emotional abuse in the very least, something no professional club should ever stand to tolerate by any of its members, no matter who they are.
Once the Clausura 2020 was officially terminated back in May, speculation about Ibarra remaining at América for the coming season began to grow, as it took the yellow and blue a full month to finally move the Ecuadorian. The club at no point assured the fans Ibarra was done playing for them, which also caused critics and fans in general to wonder if the club were actually considering giving the striker a second chance. Fortunately, they made the right choice and found him a new suitor. Unfortunately, said new suitor is another Liga MX team; Atlas.
Every single Mexican club knows Ibarra’s story better than any other club around the world thanks to the Ecuadorian committing his violent acts on Mexican soil. That should’ve been enough for all 18 clubs to blacklist the striker, and while being unable to prevent him from playing anywhere else in the world, at least banning him from playing in Mexico again would prove the point that this kind of act is completely intolerable. Not for Atlas, however.
Grupo Orlegi (Atlas ownership) were ready to take in the Ecuadorian once it was confirmed that América were looking to move him. And it didn’t cost them a single cent. Renato Ibarra was sent out on loan by Santiago Baños to bolster Rafa Puente Jr.’s squad for the upcoming Apertura 2020. But, at what cost? A huge portion of Atlas’ fanbase have reacted negatively towards the signing. Many fans feel let down, as they thought their team actually stood for values. It’s no secret that the Zorros are in dire need of five or six good players in order to truly compete in Liga MX. They have one of the weakest teams which is led by a very inexperienced head coach. It’s understandable why they would want a player of Ibarra’s caliber. But even at the expense of exposing themselves to the point of overlooking such a serious situation like the Ecuadorian’s? And taking him in just four months after? It seems a bit too quick and dismissive.
We already know Alejandro Irarragorri is by no means a white knight of any sort, and has in fact been one of the people in charge of the recent shady decisions carried out by Liga MX and FMF, especially involving Ascenso MX teams. So, with that in mind, if we take a longer look, this move could actually make sense. When there isn’t a good, solid leader around, these are the types of decisions that tend to be made.
There is no doubt Ibarra automatically makes this team better. To what extent remains to be seen, considering the little help he’ll have around him. But Puente Jr. has a real weapon with which to work now and Atlas have added a big offensive piece. Atlas play their second game in the Copa por México tonight vs. Mazatlán FC. It was reported yesterday by Fox Sports that Puente Jr. and his staff are considering utilizing Ibarra in tonight’s game for approximately 15-20 minutes.
This is indeed a very disappointing transaction carried out by Atlas ownership. If we still had any questions regarding the ethical standards by which some teams live by, considering everything we’ve seen during this pandemic, we have yet another confirmation of what the answers to those questions are.