Salsa Plans Are Put on Hold : Soccer: Sport’s governing bodies reconsider and may block team’s play in Mexico’s new Division 1-A league.
Less than a month before the Salsa is scheduled to begin play in Mexico’s new soccer league, the team has encountered opposition from two of the sport’s governing bodies that might stop its participation, team officials said Wednesday.
The Salsa was approved to compete in Mexico’s Division 1-A on June 26 by a 10-8 vote of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s board of directors. The team planned to start play when the league’s inaugural season opens Sept. 2.
However, FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, told team management Aug. 2 that it is reviewing the Salsa’s petition to play south of the border. CONCACAF, the regional governing body that oversees Central America, North America and the Caribbean, is expressing concern over the Salsa’s inclusion.
“The project is still alive,” Salsa owner William De La Pena said. “We’ve talked with FIFA and CONCACAF, and we’re working very hard for them to approve the project. We’re very optimistic.”
De La Pena could not explain why snags are occurring after the team believed the deal was completed, especially with kickoff for the new league so close. He believes part of the organizations’ apprehension is because protocol was not followed, and that the plan might conflict with certain statutes. FIFA and CONCACAF were unavailable for comment.
De La Pena expects a decision soon. He needs a quick resolution if the Salsa is to prepare for the season.
The Salsa announced its final 1994 schedule changes, necessitated by the Houston Force leaving the American Professional Soccer League.
The Salsa added an away game, changed opponents for three home dates and changed the date of another game.
The revised schedule (all times Pacific):
Saturday--Colorado, 7:35 p.m.; Aug. 20--Vancouver, 7:35 p.m.; Aug. 26--at Vancouver, 7:35 p.m.; Aug. 27--at Seattle, 7:35 p.m.; Aug. 31--Ft. Lauderdale, 7:35 p.m.; Sept. 2--at Montreal, 4:35 p.m.; Sept. 4--Toronto, 6:05 p.m.; Sept. 11--Seattle, 6:05 p.m.; Sept. 17--Vancouver, 7:35 p.m.; Sept. 21--at Vancouver, 7:35 p.m.; Sept. 25--Colorado, 6:05 p.m.