Mexican refs end strike as players get hit with 1-year bans for threatening contact

Soccer will continue in Mexico’s top flight once again.

In an effort to persuade referees to return to Liga MX after a strike last week, the Mexican soccer federation has hit a couple players with harsh one-year bans for threatening referees, which the refs union has accepted as enough to end their strike.

Referees boycotted matches this weekend after players from Club America and Toluca were given bans of eight and 10 matches for making physical contact the referee. The issue, the refs said, was out of hand and similar punishments hadn’t done enough to curtail the behavior.

Now, the federation is changing those punishments to one-year bans for both players, plus fines. With the new punishment, the referees have announced they are ending their strike and Copa MX contests will resume.

The Toluca incident came in a chaotic stretch where three players were handed red cards in only about 30 seconds. One of those players, Enrique Triverio, can be seen giving the ref a shove during the mass confrontation.

Club America defender Pablo Aguilar, meanwhile, head-butted a referee in a match vs. Xolos a day earlier:

Both Triverio and Aguilar are now banned for one year, as the Mexican federation’s rules state an assault “in any form” can result in a suspension up to that length.

The federation released a statement Monday saying they’ve decided to revoke the original eight- and 10-game bans after “after analyzing the documents and evidence provided.”