Mexico’s football federation have launched an investigation after footage emerged of a referee appearing to knee a player in the groin during America’s match against Leon on Saturday.
Television footage showed referee Fernando Hernandez kneeing Leon midfielder Lucas Romero as he and his teammates angrily demanded a VAR review after America scored an equaliser.
¡No se puede creer! ¡Inaudito!
— Xavi (@XaviSol_) April 2, 2023
The Referees Commission said the results of the investigation would be made public when it is concluded.
Despite local media condemning the action, Romero did not call for Hernandez to be punished and said that it was a misunderstanding.
“Obviously [referees] are human beings, many times they can make mistakes and those mistakes end up developing what happened, a lot of misunderstandings,” the Argentine told Mexican broadcaster TUDN after the 2-2 draw.
“I’m not asking for [any form of punishment], he told me it was unintentional. But just that they also respect us as we respect them on the pitch because they are the authority.”
Former referee Felipe Ramos Rizo said that the action by the referee was “unacceptable.”
“The referee kneed the Leon player, this could cost Fernando Hernandez his career. How do you explain this aggression of the referee?” he wrote on Twitter.
He added that the president of the refereeing commission and its director of instruction will have to provide a “good explanation.”