The Mexican Football Federation on Thursday clarified the eligibility of Manchester United striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and said he would be considered for El Tri for the Nov. 13 and 19 World Cup intercontinental playoff vs. New Zealand.
"'Chicharo' is not suspended, this was talked about a lot but he is not suspended, so then he is an eligible player and that changes the situation a lot," El Tri coach Miguel Herrera said Wednesday night on TV Azteca.
It was widely reported that Hernandez was issued a yellow card during the 59th minute of Mexico’s 2-1 loss to Costa Rica in the final game of the CONCACAF qualifying Hexagonal tournament. But in fact, FIFA did not issue the yellow card, which would have been Hernandez's second and would have forced him to sit out the next international match -- Nov. 13 at Estadio Azteca.
Mexico Football Federation team director Hector Gonzalez Inarritu told ESPN's Jorge Ramos y Su Banda Thursday that although members of the media may have seen Guatemalan ref Walter Lopez hold up a yellow card and gesture that the yellow was for Javier, that was not the case (in the statistics).
"After the match, he (Hernandez) told me he had not been issued the yellow card," Gonzalez Inarritu said.
"Here it is not like all the rest of the leagues in the world that after the match the referee hands in a report. Here, FIFA, the commissioner and the entire group of referees put together the report and four, five days later they send it to the associations. Ours arrived the day before yesterday (Tuesday) and the only yellow cards handed out were for Jorge Torres Nilo and Rafael Marquez.
"Javier Hernandez is eligible to play in the first match vs. New Zealand should Herrera want to call him up."
Hernandez's performance in the CONCACAF Hexagonal was lackluster compared to previous qualifying tournaments. The striker has 35 career goals in 53 matches for Mexico but hasn't been able to net a goal for El Tri since March 22 and missed a penalty kick in that crucial match against Panama.
Information from ESPN Deportes was used in this report.