March 17, 2009

During and after its game against the U.S. last month in Columbus, Ohio, Mexico committed some unpardonable acts. To that end, FIFA slapped a two-match ban on the offenders.

Rafael Marquez and Francisco Ramirez were suspended for two games by FIFA and neither will be able to play a role in Mexico's World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica on March 28 and at Honduras on April 1.

Marquez was sent off in the second half for a vicious challenge on U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard and was automatically suspended for the Costa Rica encounter, but FIFA apparently felt his act deserved another game.

Ramirez, meanwhile, was the victim of an apparent mental lapse. The Mexican assistant coach slapped U.S. defender Frankie Hejduk in the tunnel after the game. Apparently, Ramirez felt Hejduk's words were directed at him and not in celebrating with fans. Ramirez will not be allowed on the sidelines nor will he have any access to the locker room.

Mexico lost to the U.S. 2-0 and in Costa Rica and Honduras faces teams in places it dropped games during the 2001 Hexagonal. Mexico lost at home to Costa Rica in June of that year and followed it up with a 3-1 loss at Honduras.

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