De La Torre explains Marquez omission
Mexico coach Jose Manuel De La Torre has revealed New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez was left out of his squad to face Serbia on Friday because of the indiscipline which earned him a three-match MLS suspension.
Marquez, 32, was handed the ban and a $2,250 (£1,400) fine after he was sent off for kicking a ball at the Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan at the end of the two teams' tempestuous MLS play-off clash.
And De La Torre responded by leaving the former Barcelona defender - who has been sent off four times in international action, including against USA in one of his three World Cups in 2002 - out of his squad.
"I think it's clear, discipline is always going to be a priority in the national team,'' De La Torre told the Mexican Football Federation's official website. "We've tried to be fair to the facts and take the decisions about who to call up and who not to.
"When we call players up we take into account everything that happens on and off the pitch - at all times, every day and everywhere.''
De La Torre has indeed displayed a hardline attitude to indiscipline throughout this year. He dropped goalkeeper Jesus Corona from his Gold Cup squad after he was sent off for headbutting an opponent during the national Clausura tournament, while eight players received six-month bans from the national team following an unauthorised party in the team hotel prior to the Copa America.
The coach was quick to emphasise, though, that the decision does not spell the end of Marquez's international career.
"He has been an exemplary person with a glorious career, but everyone can make mistakes,'' De La Torre added. "I spoke to him on the phone to say I was not going to call him up. The absence of Rafael Marquez is not final, I am not going to say that.''