The home side were making a stand against unpaid wages as they stood and watched their opponents claim a two-goal lead in the Liga MX clash
Tigres sparked outrage in Mexico’s top flight when they took advantage of a Veracruz protest to score two goals in the first three minutes of their Liga MX clash.
The Veracruz players stood still for the opening minutes of the game to protest against unpaid wages, with Tigres joining them for the first 60 seconds.
But the visitors sparked into action after Veracruz goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado kicked the round ball out, leading to Eduardo Vargas’s opener in the second minute.
A minute later, Andre-Pierre Gignac doubled Tigres’ lead and although Veracruz soon started to play, they were soon 3-0 down thanks to another Vargas strike.
Tigres suffered a blow shortly before the half-hour mark when Vargas was sent off and Veracruz ended on a high note when substitute Colin Kazim-Richards scored in the final moments.
The home side made their disappointment clear at full-time as several players sarcastically applauded their opponents while they walked off the field, clearly incredulous at Tigres’ decision to score the opening two goals of the game.
Veracruz are bottom of the table with just four points from 12 games and their on-field issues are a result of a catastrophic financial situation.
The players have not been paid for several months, while the women’s and youth teams have also been badly affected.
Veracruz had planned to boycott Friday’s game until they were threatened with relegation, while Liga MX pledged to resolve the problem with the players.
The club’s owner, Fidel Kuri, said after the game: “The players wanted to send a message that wasn’t discussed, but they are in their right.
“We were once again the joke of the nation, or the world with this topic.”
While the Tigres players have been criticised for not standing in solidarity with the hosts, captain Guido Pizarro defended his team-mates.
“They told us they were going to stop for a minute, after that they were going to stop for three,” he said. “I told them we were only doing one minute. Several Veracruz players didn’t know it was going to be for three minutes. They found out from me.
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“For them to make us responsible for a protest that they were making against their president I think has been a mistake. We came here, respected what they did and went through with it.”
But Veracruz star Carlos Salcido says Tigres were aware that the demonstration would last longer, telling reporters: “Tigres knew perfectly well that we would stop for three minutes.
“It’s sad. We are all professional. We’re all in football and you all saw what happened.”