MEXICO CITY, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Santos Laguna sacked
their Argentine coach Ruben Romano after he criticised the
team's fans for jeering his players following Saturday's 2-0
defeat by Queretaro in the Mexican championship.
The club's decision came after the newspaper La Aficion
published a picture on Sunday showing Romano making a finger
gesture as he was leaving the pitch and facing the stands at the
end of the match.
"The coaching staff's reaction towards the fans during and
after yesterday's match went against the values that this
institution represents and promotes, reason for which the
decision was taken not to continue with the working relationship
from this moment," the club said in a statement.
"This is a deeply hurtful decision but we must be consistent
with our values and responsibility as a model team. Ruben
reacted negatively to pressure from the fans and that's
something we can't cover up," club president Alejandro
Irarragorri added in comments published by Reforma newspaper.
Romano had steered Santos to second place in the Apertura
championship in December and the Clausura at the end of last
In other Mexican championship action, Chile striker Humberto
Suazo injured his shoulder during Saturday's "Northern classic"
against Tigres UANL which ended 0-0.
Suazo, who played at the 2010 World Cup finals in South
Africa, will miss champions Monterrey's next two matches.
The shaven-headed Chilean nicknamed "Lollipop" is joint top
scorer on five goals after seven matches with America's
Argentine-born former Mexico striker Matias Vuoso, who was sent
off after 15 minutes in their 2-1 loss to Morelia at the Azteca.
Pumas, who have 15 points from seven matches after a 1-0
away win over San Luis, are the only unbeaten team. Toluca fell
to their first defeat, 3-2 at home to promoted Necaxa.
Tigres lead Group One with 14 points, four more than
Guadalajara, Monterrey and Santos, while Toluca and San Luis are
equal top of Group Two with 12 each.
Pumas lead Group Three with 15 points, two more than title
favourites Cruz Azul, who beat Atlas 2-1 at home on Friday.
The top two in each of the three groups and the two next
best-placed teams in the overall standings after the 17-match
round robin phase qualify for the quarter-finals.
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