Puebla players return after walkout, coach leaves
MEXICO CITY, April 3 (Reuters) - The players at struggling Mexican club Puebla ended a walkout on Thursday after talks with the directors -- but the agreement prompted coach Hugo Fernandez to announce his resignation.
The players staged their protest on Tuesday after Fernandez barred Marco Capetillo and Joaquin Velazquez from training for indiscipline, then slapped a ban on Colombian midfielder Mauricio Serna and Argentine defender Roberto Trotta.
But Fernandez, who was in charge for only four matches, was himself packing his bags on Thursday after the directors agreed to reinstate the quartet and their team mates agreed to resume training.
"In this team, the players are in charge and I couldn't carry on if these four were allowed to continue," the Uruguayan coach said.
"For my dignity and principles, I wouldn't change my decision," added Fernandez, who replaced Victor Manuel Vucetich one month ago.
Puebla, 19th in the qualifying stage of the Clausura championship, were the second Mexican club to be hit by a players walkout in less than one month.
Players at Cruz Azul also staged a walkout when directors fired the entire squad and then offered to rehire the players on performance-based contracts in which they would be paid according to the number of points the team won.
The players initially refused the terms, forcing the club to field a reserve team in two matches. Since then, all but the club's four foreign players have agreed to rejoin.
The incidents are seen as typical of Mexican soccer, where directors are often criticised for their heavy-handed treatment of the players and where many transfers are settled at the so-called annual "Legs Market" in Acapulco in which clubs trade players around without their consent.