The strike of Liga MX referees in Mexico lasted one game. They got their point across when they showed up for work on Friday -- and refused to officiate. On appeal, the suspensions for Toluca's
and Club America's Pablo Aguilar
for referee assaults were increased to one-year bans by the Mexico federation.
The incidents both took place during Copa MX
matches last Wednesday. Aguilar directed his head toward referee Fernando Torres
as if to head-butt him while Triverio pushed referee Miguel Flores
in the chest.
players received red cards. But Aguilar and Triverio were only handed 10- and eight-game bans by the Mexican federation's disciplinary committee for attempted assault. The appeals committee found
Aguilar and Triverio to have committed referee assault. Article 18, Section N of the Mexican federation's policies
call for a one-year
ban if a player "attacks" an official "in any form." Decio De Maria
, president of the Mexican federation, said that distinction -- between assault and attempted assault -- was the
basis for the change in suspensions.
"It hurt because I am one of the millions of people who like to watch soccer," he said on Monday, "and I could not see it. Who won are the fans, who
should always win."
The Mexican federation's policy is much tougher than U.S. Soccer's policy
on referee assault. Policy
202(1)(H)-2 calls for a six-game ban for assault though a league may issue tougher sanctions.
(The longest suspension in MLS history was 10 games to Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian
-- for breaking Seattle Sounders winger Steve Zakuani
's leg in 2011. In recent years, Fabian Espindola
and Jermaine Jones
received six-games suspensions in referee
aggression cases. Clint Dempsey
's suspension for ripping up a ref's notebook in 2015 was famously limited to three games for referee "abuse.")