ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (Reuters) - Mexico defender Rafael Marquez’s issues with the U.S. Treasury Department do not have any influence on the team at the World Cup, coach Jose Luis Osorio said on Friday.
“Regarding that theme we are solely looking at the sporting side of things,” Osorio told a news conference on the eve of his team’s second Group F game against South Korea, when asked if the case had any effect on the team.
“When we knew that Rafa could come with us, we decided to bring him because he brings an important contribution to the squad, on and off the pitch.”
Marquez, one of very few players to play in five World Cups after coming on as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Germany on Sunday, has been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury over suspected links to a Mexican drugs cartel, according to the New York Times and other international media. Marquez has reportedly denied any link to drug traffickers.
The 39-year-old is not allowed to wear the Mexico team sponsors’ logos on his training kit.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond and Hugh Lawson