United States and Mexico Show Unity After Trump Victory
The United States and Mexican National sides made a clear demonstration of unity yesterday, as the sides met just three days after Donald Trump was elected President.
England met Scotland yesterday in a game surrounded in controversy over the poppy debate, however there was only one football game that felt truly significant yesterday, and it was not the one played at Wembley stadium.
Following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, players from the United States and Mexico joined together for the team photograph before their World Cup qualification match.
Avoiding the typical custom of taking separate team photographs, the gesture will be interpreted as a clear statement of unity between the two nations.
Trump had consistently instilled an anti-Mexican rhetoric during his election campaign, notoriously pledging to build a wall along the two countries' border to prevent immigration.
During his announcement speech in June 2015, Trump said: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
The match itself was a tight, intense encounter, with a glancing header from Mexico captain Rafael Marquez in the 89th minute, giving Mexico a dramatic late victory.
The result felt particularly significant as it ended Mexico's four-game losing streak in Columbus, Ohio, a notable "swing state" won by Trump on Tuesday.
Asked after the game whether the win took on any greater significannce after Trump's victory, Marquez said: "Maybe now they have a bad time, a time of intolerance and with this win maybe they can forget now a little bit what happened here in the US."
Mexico forward Oribe Peralta also commented on the issue, posting a tweet after the game which read: "No hay muro que nos detenga."
The tweet, which has since been deleted, translates as: "There is no wall that can stop us."
The demonstration represents the first major response from the sporting world to Trump's election.
The two nations will now be hoping that their display of unity erases concerns over a potential joint-bid between the two nations for the 2026 World Cup, which had been considered the early favorite.