The 39-year-old has become an age record holder at the tournament, but almost no one congratulated him because of possible connections with the drug cartel.
On June 17, Rafael Marquez came on as a substitute in the Germany-Mexico match and became the third player in history to play at five World Championships. He also became the first player who, at all five tournaments, was the captain of the team. But journalists were in no hurry to take an interview from a 39-year-old veteran against the backdrop of the sponsors’ logos of the 2018 World Cup.
To all the fault of the American sanctions: since 2017, Marquez is on the “black list” of the US Treasury because of accusations of cooperation with the drug cartel. Because of this in Russia, a football player faces a number of restrictions – he can not train on an equal footing with his team and be recognized as the best player of the match.
Relations with the drug mafia
In August 2017, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against 22 people and 42 companies from Mexico: they were accused of complicity in the head of the drug club Flores Hernandez. In the “black list” got and Marquez, who during his career managed to play in Barcelona, Monaco and Lyon.
According to the investigation, the football player helped Hernandez to launder money from the sale of drugs. In addition to sanctions against Marquez, the Ministry of Finance entered into the “black” list of his charitable foundation and a football school in Mexico, named in his honor.
Marquez was not charged with criminal charges, but all his assets in the US were frozen, and his visa was revoked. The Mexican denies any links with the drug trade, and his lawyers say they are cooperating with the American authorities.
According to the law, American citizens and companies can not interact with people from the “black list” in any way. Therefore, the Mexican team began to have problems at the stage of preparation for the World Cup in Russia. One of the team spent the team in California – there the Mexicans played a friendly match with Wales. But Marquez could not fly to the US to support his comrades.
As a result, the 39-year-old captain of the national team of Mexico still reached his fifth World Cup. But here American sanctions began to influence him even more, because many sponsors of the tournament are connected with the United States.
What is not possible for Marquez
FIFA, in conjunction with the Mexican Football Federation, prepared for Marquez to help the team without breaking the law. But for this he had to agree to several restrictions related to sanctions.
- Marquez does not participate in press conferences, interviews and other events of the 2018 World Cup, where he can be on the background of the logos of the main sponsors of the tournament – Visa, Coca-Cola, Budweiser and McDonald’s;
- If he does appear at a press conference, then the leader should not be an American;
- The captain of the Mexican national team in principle can not communicate with US citizens and representatives of American companies;
- During training, Marquez wears a special uniform without badges, while the rest of the players train in the usual;
- At the game, Marquez can not drink from the branded bottles of the 2018 World Cup, because they are associated with American companies;
- Footballer lives in Russia separately from the rest of the team, his number is constantly checked for the presence of American goods;
- Rafael Marquez can not be called the best player of the match at the 2018 World Cup, because the title sponsor of the award is the beer brand Budweiser;
- The Mexican agreed not to receive bonuses for participating in the World Cup.
What can Marquez do?
- Marquez can play World Cup 2018 in the official form of the Mexican national team, because its producer is the German brand Adidas;
- The player kept the contract with his personal sponsor – another German company Puma. Only her representatives congratulated Marquez on the fifth World Championship in his career;
- First, FIFA mistakenly announced to the employees of TV companies that they can not interview Marquez during the 2018 World Cup. Later, the organization recovered: you can take interviews, but the production or logos of American companies should not be included in the shot