Following a day of drama and conflicting reports, the embattled Mexico manager is set to stay on, at least for now.Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre remains Mexico coach after a day of intrigue and rumor ended with the Mexican federation (FMF) backing the under-fire manager.
The decision was reached after a meeting between representatives of Liga MX teams and FMF chiefs in the presence of De la Torre, but it was far from unanimous.
“There were strong voices that weren’t in agreement,” stated FMF president Justino Compean in a press conference Monday night. “But in the end they came together because we’re united in the same objective, which is qualification.”
Compean acknowledged that the team – sitting in third place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal – needs to improve to reach the World Cup.
“We have to recognize our errors and defects, but also see them as opportunities to grow,” added Compean, who was joined in the press conference by director of national teams Hector Gonzalez Inarritu.
Mexico has won just five of its 17 games in 2013, crashing out of the Gold Cup to Panama in the semifinal and failing to get out of the group stage of the Confederations Cup.
Compean stopped short of stating Chepo will be Mexico manager if El Tri makes the World Cup, instead indicating that there will be another meeting after the qualifiers to determine the state of play.
“After those four (qualification) games, we’ll sit down again (with Chepo) because a World Cup is very different,” said Compean.
Mexico has a friendly against Ivory Coast on Aug. 14 in New Jersey, followed by a vital home qualifier against Honduras in the Estadio Azteca on Sept. 6, and a tricky trip to Columbus to face the United States four days later.