An extremely dirty college football play that resulted in a broken leg is at the center of controversy in Mexico. A permanent ban was also issued for the player responsible.
The incident occurred during a game between the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico (IPN) Burros Blancos and the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Tec) Borregos Salvajes over the weekend, as MSN News reported.
Tec, the reigning national champion, had the ball at IPN’s one-yard-line. A handoff went for no gain and created a pile-up.
Borregos left tackle Diogo Zanchet Fernández was standing up at the end of the play. Burros linebacker Osvaldo Canchola — who weighs approximately 250 pounds — intentionally threw his entire body weight on top of the opponent’s leg. The disturbing fall was as deliberate as it gets.
View this post on Instagram
Fernández suffered multiple injuries because of Canchola’s fall. They include a complete rupture of the medial patellofemoral ligament and a rupture of more than 50% of his MCL.
The hope is that he will be able to avoid surgery, but at the very least, he will miss the remainder of the current season.
In response to the dirty move, Canchola was immediately removed from the team.
"At the National Polytechnic Institute, we value and promote fair play, integrity, and respect in all our activities, and especially in the field of sports. In line with these values, we have made the decision to separate the Canchola player immediately […] We reiterate our most sincere support for Fernández and wish him a speedy recovery. We offer a sincere apology to ITESM Campus Monterrey and the entire American football community. We reaffirm our commitment to fair play, education, and the values that represent our institute of higher learning," said Secretary of Educational Services of IPN, Marco Antonio.
Fernández explained his side of the story earlier this week. He alluded to dirty play throughout the afternoon, which ultimately concluded with Canchola’s fall:
"I come to explain what happened during a match between MTY Lambs and White Donkeys," the player said. "Throughout the match, an anti-sport attitude was noticed by some players, but missing two minutes to end the match with a 37-0 lead, Osvaldo Canchola, wearing the shirt number 1 of the team Donkeys Blanco, intentionally injured myself, in a dead play, attacking my leg as in the video seen countless times. You can tell that I’m not even in front of him and during the play, I’m partly careful not to fall on top of his partner number 58, already on the ground, he sees my knee and just jumps on top with all the intention of hurting myself."
Not long thereafter, the governing body of college football in Mexico (Organización Nacional Estudiantil de Fútbol Americano) issued a permanent ban. As a result, Canchola will never be allowed to hold any position — player, coach, official, administrator, or otherwise — within American football in Mexico.
He is ultimately responsible for the knee injury. Canchola singlehandedly ended the season for Fernández with his deliberate, targeted fall after the play. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of fair play and sportsmanship in college football and sports in general.