Last Saturday, Cuauhtémoc Blanco was finally honored with a Club América farewell game, the team he spent most of his career with and whose fans idolize him. Blanco had not played since 2007, but the 43-year-old mayor spent 36 minutes in a regular Liga MX game against Morelia at a packed Azteca Stadium. A particular highlight was when he almost scored a golazo only eight minutes into the match.
Although most Mexican fans were unhappy to see Cuauhtémoc back on the pitch, the conditions under which this farewell game took place were somewhat questionable, since Blanco is currently Cuernavaca’s mayor. It’s a city with massive security problems, and the Liga MX authorities turned a blind eye to the fact that Cuauhtémoc was registered with América without following proper protocol, particularly since the registration window had long since closed.
Of course, there are those who defend him by stating that a so-called special permit was requested so Cuauhtémoc could be registered.
During his mayoral campaign, Blanco constantly stated he was fed up with traditional politicians, and that if he became Cuernavaca’s mayor, he would institute the rule of the people. His three-day absence from his mayoral duties is permitted by law, since he’s allowed take up to 15 days off for personal time, but it still sends a bad message to those who voted for him and are expecting his promise of non-traditional politics to be an improvement, not just a farce. Even though it’s business-as-usual, his ability to avoid the FEMEXFUT rulebook (albeit with their complicity) remains frustrating.
Aside from the farewell game’s political repercussions, fans of EA Sports’ FIFA video games can now play as Cuauhtémoc Blanco (Level 71).
Only in Mexico do you get a 43-year-old mayor playing brilliant professional soccer, while his city suffers.