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Authorities to probe Liga MX clubs, players on alleged 'double contracts'

Mexico's Tax Administration Service (SAT) is set to investigate Liga MX clubs and players for the alleged existence of "double contracts."

"Double contracts" are when a player or employee signs one contract to register with the federation as an official document and then has another on the side directly with the club or separate entity.

There have been regular accusations of the existence of such contracts in Mexico, but the issue was blown open when Guillermo Vazquez accused Veracruz of using the practice after his resignation as the club's manager on Monday.

Veracruz's sporting vice president Mario Trejo confirmed to ESPN that such contracts do exist at the club and went on to suggest that the Tiburones Rojos aren't the only club in Mexico that has them.

"When they invited us [into the club], I learned about the situation [of the contracts] which was after the draft at the time of sealing the signing, of making the agreement concrete through the documents, [that's when] I learned that there is this situation," Trejo told ESPN.

The allegations have been picked up by Mexico's tax authorities.

"The information published by different outlets regarding double contracts submitted to the Mexican football federation is information that for the SAT will lead to a specific review of the topic in order to identify possible irregularities," read the SAT statement.

The statement also said there could be consequences if players and/or clubs haven't paid taxes in full, and that the clubs may also be held responsible in case any wrongdoing is found.

"It is important to clarify that attempting to feign acts that seek to hide the total earnings of the footballers from the SAT is a crime," the statement said. 

A report in Record on Thursday appeared to expose the workings of the alleged use the contracts at Veracruz.

The story presented the cases of Sosthenes Jose Santos Salles (more commonly known as Neto Berola) and Alan Santos, with documentation provided by the duo's legal representative.

Santos Salles signed one contract of a minimal amount ($2,600 USD per month) with Veracruz to file with the Mexican federation and another "image rights" contract with the vast majority of the total wage, which the report alleges wasn't registered with the federation.

The report states that both players didn't receive a copy of their contracts and stopped getting paid after three months.

The Mexican federation issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the practice of private contracts.

"The Mexican Football Federation [FMF] urges all its affiliates to adhere to the federation's regulations and to settle the conflicts that arise through the different commissions established for such purposes. The FMF condemns all private contracting that is not registered before the administrative bodies of the Liga MX."

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