For anyone studying how to run and manage a football (soccer) federation/organization, the first lesson would be to not do what the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol (FMF) has done since Mexico lost to Costa Rica on Tuesday. Because Panama lost to the United States, they will take on New Zealand next month in a 2014 World Cup Qualifying Playoff. On Thursday, the federation decided to relieve Victor Manuel Vucetich of his duties as coach and installed Club America coach Miguel Herrera as the coach for the two-legged playoff against New Zealand.
Herrera will be the fourth coach the Mexican National Team has had in a 42-day span, which is bad for a club team but disastrous for a national team. What’s even worse is the fact that the decision made by federation president Justino Compean occurred because as usual, a certain clan and group of Liga MX club owners demanded a change as a result of what was seen on Tuesday, which they share culpability for letting happen.
Now yes, I understand why team owners, at least in this case, are nervous about Mexico being a part of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But to change coaches again at this point is counterproductive. The fact is that Vucetich deserved and warranted the opportunity to coach the team when they take on New Zealand in a month’s time given that he has only had two games to be able to work as national team coach. Yes, you read that right; Vucetich was only in charge for two games before getting the axe!
What makes the situation even more absurd is that the owner who seems at least publicly to be the lynchpin of removing Vucetich and installing Herrera is Chivas de Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara. For those unaware, Vergara currently is at fault for the tire fire that is my beloved Chivas who are struggling in Apertura 2013 action and find themselves now having to deal with relegation and avoiding the unthinkable. To think he was potentially the one to engineer this latest coaching shift shows the absurdity that is the FMF and reinforces that Liga MX owners generally do more harm than good for the sport. In this case, they’re hurting the national team.
Now Herrera is certainly more than capable of doing what is necessary to lead Mexico towards beating New Zealand and qualifying “El Tri” for the World Cup via the playoff. But that should not detract the fact that this latest decision by Liga MX owners is just absurd. As Vucetich stated, he is not god and if that is what is expected from these owners, then the national team, and Mexican soccer in many respects, is worse off because of non-football people running the FMF.