Mexico welcome new manager as challenges loom on and off pitch

Jose Manuel de la Torre succeeded Javier Aguirre as Mexico coach yesterday and now faces the task of steering his team through to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

"It has been my dream all my life," De la Torre told a news conference on accepting the job, which he will begin once his club, Toluca, have completed their campaign in the Apertura championship, which ends in December.

"Once I've finished that commitment, I'll take charge of the national team," said the 44-year-old, nicknamed Chepo.

Aguirre resigned in July after Mexico's second-round defeat by Argentina at the World Cup finals in South Africa and the position has since been occupied in an interim capacity by several coaches. De la Torre was originally competing for the job with Monterrey's Victor Vucetich, who pulled out over the weekend citing family reasons.

The appointment comes with the team in crisis after the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) punished 13 players for holding an unauthorised late-night party after a friendly last month. The players threatened to boycott team call-ups and De la Torre's brother, Nestor, resigned from the post of FMF national teams director. He had suspended the forward Carlos Vela and midfielder Efrain Juarez for six months for breaking team rules and another 11 players, including the World Cup captain Rafael Marquez, were fined.

De la Torre has had a short but successful coaching career, winning league titles in his first job as head coach with Guadalajara in the 2006 Apertura championship and again in his first season with Toluca, the 2008 Apertura. Toluca are the reigning champions after winning another title in the 2009-10 season's "Bicentenario" Clausura championship this year.

Mexico will take part in two tournaments next year, the Concacaf Gold Cup in June and the Copa America, the South American championship, in Argentina in July.

The hosts, the holders Brazil and Uruguay will be the seeds for next month's draw for the 2011 Copa America, the South American Football Confederation (CSF) said yesterday.

Chile, although not seeded to head one of the three groups, have been guaranteed they will play in the Andean region of Cuyo, just across their border with Argentina.

"The only team with definite cities is Chile, who will go to the Cuyo region," the CSF general secretary Eduardo Deluca told reporters at the body's headquarters outside Asuncion, Paraguay, where it held an executive committee meeting.

The draw for the 12-nation tournament to be played in Argentina next July will be held on 11 November in the Argentine city of La Plata, capital of Buenos Aires province.

Cuyo comprises the western provinces of Mendoza and San Juan. Other venues are Salta and Jujuy in the north-west and Santa Fe and Cordoba in the centre-north.

Each seeded team will play two matches in their venue stadiums and one in La Plata, which is 60km (38 miles) from Buenos Aires. River Plate's Monumental, which doubles as the national stadium in the capital, will host the 24 July final.

"The seeded team that ends up in the same group as Chile will have to play two matches in the area of San Juan and Mendoza and one match at the City of La Plata stadium, since all the seeds are going to play one match there," Deluca said.

Argentina and Uruguay have won the Copa America 14 times each. Brazil, who beat Argentina in the last two finals in 2004 and 2007, have won it eight times.

Regular guest team Mexico and Japan have been invited to join the 10 CSF member nations playing in the tournament.

The meeting also discussed the South American qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Deluca said the CSF would fight to retain its four and a half places. The half- place is valid for a playoff with a team from another confederation. Brazil are automatically qualified for the next World Cup as hosts.

"We are prepared to defend [our places] tooth and nail because when [the World Cup] was played in Asia, the Asian berths were respected and the same happened with Africa and Europe."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor