By DAN KARELL
Two months ago, Camilo Sanvezzo was earning a nice salary and was a sure starter for the Vancouver Whitecaps after a career year. Now in Mexico with Querétaro, he’s found himself struggling to not only overcome an injury, but also receive his paycheck.
Querétaro’s economic status took a huge hit on Friday as club owner Amado Yáñez had his oil services company Oceanografia taken over by the Mexican government following allegations of fraud. Mexico’s anti-corruption governmental agency had already banned Oceanografia on Feb. 11 from bidding on government contracts after learning that the company had modified contracts with state-owned oil producer Petroleos Mexicano, or Pemex.
Last Friday, both Querétaro head coach Ignacio Ambriz and vice president Claudio Suarez confirmed that players had not been paid in the last month and a half and with this Friday’s news, the situation looks even worse than before.
When U.S. bank Citigroup learned of Mexico’s ban on Oceanografia and investigated its ties with the company, it slashed $235 million from last year’s profits.
Even worse for Queretaro and their Liga Ascenso affiliate Delfines FC, Yañez’s alleged criminal activity could lead to both clubs being expelled from the Mexican Football Federation.
Article 17, paragraph G of the FMF bylaws states that if a club owner or club director engages in “criminal or otherwise objectionable acts,” the FMF Executive Committee can open an investigation. After hearing from all parties, the committee would present its findings to the FMF General Assembly and a final decision would be made, without appeal.
In addition, article 66 of the Liga MX Regulations of Affiliation, Name, and Headquarters, states that a club could lose its place in the FMF if the club owner or directors “incur criminal or objectionable acts in the opinion of the FMF Executive Committee.”
With all this news breaking today, Whitecaps fans must be enjoying the karmic schadenfreude of the whole situation, especially pertaining to Camilo.
The MLS Golden Boot winner infamously forced his way out of the club in early January, showing up at Querétaro’s training ground and donning Querétaro gear despite being under contract with the Whitecaps. Despite a number of warnings to both club and player, the Whitecaps were eventually forced to sell the Brazilian forward after the situation became untenable.
Reports in January stated that one of the main reasons Camilo left for Mexico was to earn more money. Now, in a bit of twisted irony, Camilo isn’t being paid the wages he was promised, ditching a league with a perfect reputation of paying players on time for one that couldn’t guarantee it.
Even though the Clausura is in its ninth week, Camilo has yet to make his Querétaro debut due to a muscle tear suffered before he arrived.