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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico national team players support Oswaldo Alanis in contractual dispute

Oswaldo Alanis during the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Oswaldo Alanis' future is uncertain.

Mexico national team players and the Mexican footballers' association are backing defender Oswaldo Alanis in his contractual dispute with Liga MX club Chivas.

Mexico international Alanis was banished to Chivas' third division side after refusing to extend his contract -- which ends next summer -- by a further six months. The 28-year-old stayed back in Guadalajara as the rest of the Chivas squad flew to Cancun on Monday for the start of preseason training ahead of the 2018 Clausura.

"It's an institutional posture, nothing personal," Chivas CEO Jose Luis Higuera said in an interview with Marca Claro. "We've treated him with great respect, but he decided not to renew with us. He asked for something that was too much."

Chivas coach Matias Almeyda asked Alanis to sign the extension to take his contract from July until December and beyond the World Cup.

"The club has invested millions of dollars into the player and we needed him to sign for another six months, above all because there is a World Cup coming up and he is a great player," Almeyda told ESPN.

In Mexico, it is often reported that a "Gentlemen's Pact" between club owners means that players aren't free to sign for another domestic club when their contract runs down. The independent Mexican players' association was officially formed in October in an attempt to stand up for players' rights.

Alanis, who featured for Mexico at last summer's Confederations Cup, has said the situation "is not easy" but has been turning up to train with Chivas' third division side and has been gaining support from his international teammates and the players' association.

The players' association released a statement Tuesday indicating that it is not happy with how Alanis has been treated.

"[We're] tired of some Mexican club directors continuing practices that seeks to exert pressure to obligate players to sign contracts that they don't accept, including with future threats that put their career at risk," read part of the statement.

The players' association added that handing Alanis the "sanction" of removing him from the first team due to him not having signed the extension goes against FIFA rules.

Current Mexico internationals Hector Moreno, Marco Fabian, Miguel Layun, Carlos Salcedo and others indicated their support for the footballers' association's position.

Chivas captain and former Mexico international Carlos Salcido is one of the presidents of the players' association and also publicly backed Alanis, going against his club in the process.

Alanis' options to move in the immediate future are limited, with the domestic transfer window in Mexico already closed ahead of the 2018 Clausura -- although Monterrey and Pachuca can still sign players up until Dec. 29.

There is also the possibility of Alanis moving abroad during the January transfer window.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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