Monterrey raises formal protest for alleged incidents against Inter Miami

MEXICO CITY.- Monterrey filed a formal protest with CONCACAF for incidents that the club claims occurred in the locker room area at the end of the match against the Inter Miami for the quarterfinals of the Champions Cup.

Without going into details about the reason for their complaint, Rayados indicated on Friday night that they informed the regional soccer governing body about “unfortunate events that occurred in the locker room area.”

According to some local media and the version of Monterrey's Argentine assistant, Nicolás Sánchez, his compatriot Lionel Messi confronted coach Fernando Ortiz at the end of the match that the Mexican team won 2-1.

Messi could not participate in that match due to a muscle overload, but he was in the stadium accompanying the team.

“Messi wanted to fight me. I don't think he wanted to hit me because if not, he would have hit me, because he had me an centimeter away,' Sánchez said in a WhatsApp audio that was leaked and that he himself later confirmed to be his. “He put his fist next to my face. I think he was looking for my reaction.â€

Sánchez, a former Monterrey player, said he had approached Messi to ask for a photo, but a security officer stopped him.

“I saw that Messi was very hot and the referees were entering; Messi faced them and told them everything, about everything and next to him, 'Tata' Martino, added Sánchez. “There were people from CONCACAF there and I told them that if we did that, they would throw us all out.”

Neither Inter Miami nor Messi have yet given a position on the Mexican team's allegations.

Until now, there is no known video evidence of what allegedly happened in the locker room area.

The second leg is next Wednesday in Monterrey, in the north of the country.

Monterrey did not go deeper:

Neither the sports president of Rayados, José Antonio Noriega, nor the Argentine coach Ortiz wanted to go into details about the events that allegedly occurred.

A few days before the match, Ortiz declared that he feared that financial interests could benefit Inter Miami and tilt the series in favor of the MLS team.

“What happened is going to stay there, they are all things that are talked about. I'm not going to give any statement regarding that,†Ortiz said after the meeting. “I'm not going to talk about it, it's something that arose there and his intentions were always the best and we're going to leave it there.”