Chicharito throws support behind new Mexican footballers' association
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez signaled that the Mexican footballers' association (AMFpro) announced on Saturday will seek a fairer deal for players in the country.
Club America's Oribe Peralta and Chivas' Carlos Salcido will be the presidents of the new association, which will come into effect on Oct. 16 in a historic moment for Mexican football.
"We want to try to obtain the greatest possible justice [in football]," said West Ham's Hernandez in a Mexico City news conference.
"Sometimes players suffer a lot of things and neither you nor us are aware. We'll take it step by step, [but] it isn't a game; we're looking for Mexican footballers, wherever they may be, to be protected so they can carry out their profession."
Hernandez stressed that the association isn't only for national team players, but also those further down the ladder.
An independent association has been a long been a goal for Mexican players and replaces the Players' Commission, which represented players but was also under the umbrella of the Mexican football federation (FMF).
"We haven't been able to do anything about it, but the problems Mexican footballers have started a long time ago and this is a dream, we want to be part of this," stressed current Mexico captain Andres Guardado.
Some of the commonly reported complaints about how the Mexico game is run include the Pacto de Caballeros (Gentlemen's Pact), in which Liga MX club owners allegedly don't allow players to move clubs domestically when their contract has run down.
The Liga MX transfer system is also the cause of some complaint, with a "draft" day for domestic-based movements sometimes allegedly resulting in players being transferred without having given their permission.
Mexican players have also said they would like to see more chances given to young home-grown players, with each Liga MX club currently allowed up to nine foreign players in each matchday squad.
Guardado -- like Hernandez an "honorary associate" of the association -- stressed that the idea is to create a dialogue with league, federation and club authorities.
"We want a united union that is increasingly strong for Mexican football," said Guardado. "The idea to create dialogue for the benefit of everyone."
Former player Alvaro Ortiz was president of the players' commission and will be in charge of the general running of the new association.
He stressed that it will eventually include 8,000 players -- both male and female -- will have its own offices, offer free legal advice to players, scholarships for players' further education, a retirement saving fund and will be registered with FIFPro World Players' Union.
Former Barcelona star Rafa Marquez was guiding the association's creation before he was accused of having links to a drug trafficking organization by the U.S. Treasury Department in August.
Marquez has stepped aside until his situation is cleared up, with the players' association crediting him for the work he put in.
"We want to dedicate this association to him as well," said Ortiz. "He will surely be back here with us soon."
The players that did attend the press conference were Guillermo Ochoa, Peralta, Jesus Corona, Guardado, Hector Moreno, Hernandez and Christian Gimenez.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.