MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico's 18 first-division football clubs have agreed to ban access to one of the country's most important sports newspapers.
An announcement posted on the website of the Mexican Football Federation Saturday said the clubs acted in solidarity with the Chivas club of Guadalajara, whose owner has often denounced coverage by the tabloid Record.
A club statement accused the paper of ''a campaign of hate and abuses.'' It said all 18 clubs agreed to ban the paper's representatives from their stadiums and other facilities.
Chivas and Record have had a running battles about coverage. The dispute has intensified recently with poor play by Chivas, which had failed to win any of its first six games in the current tournament.
Chivas is one of Mexico's most popular clubs and Record has blamed the team's recent abysmal play on owner Jorge Vergara and his wife Angelica Fuentes, who serves as executive president of the team. It has suggested they have failed to invest in player talent. Vergara said the coverage had prompted death threats against him.
Record is owned by Grupo Notimusa, whose director, Alejandro Gomez, said in a column published Saturday that the action is ''simple, retrograde and inefficient'' and denied publishing personal material about Fuerntes or other football league officials.
The newspaper vowed to continue covering soccer.
Four of the teams in the league are owned by large media corporations that cover sports. Televisa controls Club America and San Luis. Grupo Azteca or its subsidiaries have majority control of Morelia and Jaguares. Televisa also owns Aztec Stadium, home to Club America and Mexico's national team.