Mexico captain linked to drug cartel


Mexican football great Rafael Marquez is among 22 people sanctioned for alleged ties to a drug trafficking organisation, the US Treasury Department announced Wednesday.

The sanctions are the result of a multi-year investigation of the drug trafficking organisation allegedly headed by Raul Flores Hernandez, the department said in a statement.

Marquez, 38, is a former defender for Barcelona, Monaco and New York Red Bulls who currently plays for the Mexican soccer club Atlas in Guadalajara and is captain of the Mexico national team.

The US government referred to Marquez as having a longstanding relationship with Flores Hernandez among people who "have acted as front persons for him and his (drug trafficking organization) and held assets on their behalf."

Rafael Marquez. Pic: Getty

The US statement did not say that Marquez faces charges in the United States.

Marquez is revered in Mexico as one of the country's all-time greats and has led El Tri at four World Cups and hopes to become only the third player ever to play in five.

He has scored 13 goals in 158 international appearances between 1997 and 2017.