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Camilo in limbo, Queretaro on shaky ground amid allegations of fraud by team ownership

Camilo thumbs up Queretaro tweet


Two months ago, Camilo Sanvezzo was earning a nice salary and was a sure starter for the Vancouver Whitecaps after a career year. Now in Mexico with Querétaro, he’s found himself struggling to not only overcome an injury, but also receive his paycheck.

Querétaro’s economic status took a huge hit on Friday as club owner Amado Yáñez had his oil services company Oceanografia taken over by the Mexican government following allegations of fraud. Mexico’s anti-corruption governmental agency had already banned Oceanografia on Feb. 11 from bidding on government contracts after learning that the company had modified contracts with state-owned oil producer Petroleos Mexicano, or Pemex.

Last Friday, both Querétaro head coach Ignacio Ambriz and vice president Claudio Suarez confirmed that players had not been paid in the last month and a half and with this Friday’s news, the situation looks even worse than before.

When U.S. bank Citigroup learned of Mexico’s ban on Oceanografia and investigated its ties with the company, it slashed $235 million from last year’s profits.

Even worse for Queretaro and their Liga Ascenso affiliate Delfines FC, Yañez’s alleged criminal activity could lead to both clubs being expelled from the Mexican Football Federation.

Article 17, paragraph G of the FMF bylaws states that if a club owner or club director engages in “criminal or otherwise objectionable acts,” the FMF Executive Committee can open an investigation. After hearing from all parties, the committee would present its findings to the FMF General Assembly and a final decision would be made, without appeal.

In addition, article 66 of the Liga MX Regulations of Affiliation, Name, and Headquarters, states that a club could lose its place in the FMF if the club owner or directors “incur criminal or objectionable acts in the opinion of the FMF Executive Committee.”

With all this news breaking today, Whitecaps fans must be enjoying the karmic schadenfreude of the whole situation, especially pertaining to Camilo.

The MLS Golden Boot winner infamously forced his way out of the club in early January, showing up at Querétaro’s training ground and donning Querétaro gear despite being under contract with the Whitecaps. Despite a number of warnings to both club and player, the Whitecaps were eventually forced to sell the Brazilian forward after the situation became untenable.

Reports in January stated that one of the main reasons Camilo left for Mexico was to earn more money. Now, in a bit of twisted irony, Camilo isn’t being paid the wages he was promised, ditching a league with a perfect reputation of paying players on time for one that couldn’t guarantee it.

Even though the Clausura is in its ninth week, Camilo has yet to make his Querétaro debut due to a muscle tear suffered before he arrived.


  1. Hope Queretaro gets sold to a good owner. I just went to Queretaro a few months ago and was blown away by the city. Clean, burgeoning Aerospace and Rail manufacturing Industries, and lots of new college campuses to keep up with the demand for Engineers and Accountants.

    If any city in Mexico deserves a well run team it is Queretaro.

    • Exactly, lots of money people and beautiful city and a very good soccer market and the mexican federation won’t sell relegate querretaro that easy, however like I said before,they plan to expand to 20 teams.

  2. According to mexican soccer reports, ligaMX will relegate querretaro to division 2 or be sold to another rich owner and keep them in division 1 but still pay fee.

    Another rumor going around is that querretaro will be be sold to a new owner and mexicos division 1 will promote 1 or 2 teams from division team 2 because they want to expand to 20 teams.

    So this scam from querretaro might provoke expansion in mexicos division 1 soccer.

    I have said this before a thousand times, ligaMX is watching MLS and they will expand,make new stadiums, target their new soccer markets.

    LigaMX has Juarez, chihuahua city, Aguascalientes and some other beach cities for ligaMX.

    I forgot to mention, querretaro might be sold to another market but still promote 1 or 2 teams.

  3. i feel bad for players in mls who can be dumped at the leagues option. take chris rolf in chicago a solid player who clearly should be able to earn more that 200 k in a year. he gets cut and then resigned for cut rate wages. camillo saw his chance to make more money for him and his family which you cant really blame him for doing. now he gets burned. and burned badly. but dont forget vancouver got 2 million dollars for all of this. maybe with the new tv deal players can earn more of a living wage.

    • Camillo was getting paid $210k base ($247.5k total) according to the players union numbers which are universally believed to be low end estimates of actual compensation (they don’t add in other bonuses and incentives). Difficult to call that kind of compensation not a living wage for a 25 year old. Nobody would really care if we were talking about the 27th guy on a teams depth chart who was making only MLS minimum wage ($37,500 … which was only 1 player on Vancouver’s 2013 roster, the rest were making $46.5k base or more). No, you are not going to get rich, no you are not going to save a next egg for retirement … but come on, for a young single male who gets to play a sport for a living as essentially a practice player in a second tier league … do you really think they should be making more than the average American/Canadian worker at their age? Camillo was a starter and contributor and as such got paid 5 times that amount. If you are a glamor player (not necessarily better, just more popular), you can demand even 10-20x what Camillo was paid.

      Vancouver may or may not get their $2 mil. Remember transfer fees are usually not paid in one chunk on one day, they are usually paid off over a couple of years. If Querataro really is broke, Vancouver may see nothing or just a small fraction if the deal was quarterly payments over 3 years – just like Camillo isn’t getting paid.

    • I think we should stop calling MLS wages ‘below living wages’. They may be low compared to many other professional sports athletes, but you can often argue that most of them are overpaid. Also, lets not sit here and pretend that $35,000-$40,000 isn’t a living wage. I’m a full time high school teacher who lives well off of less than that. That kind of money may not be a ton but it’s more than enough to live off of in most places.

      • Totally agree. I supported a family of 3 (wife a stay at home mom) on about $10k a year, no food stamps, no government checks (other than student loans) when I went back to school at age 28 for 4 years (1998-2002). I then proceed to have 2 more kids and we lived on 33-40k a year for the following 6 years. It wasn’t enough to start paying student loans, I drove an old car, we didn’t go out to eat or take vacations beyond maybe a car trip for a couple hours to stay somewhere for free. The reality is that almost ALL MLS players will have a career doing something after their paid playing days are done, so it isn’t a make or break “can’t work again after age 35” scenario. I was 38 when I finally started working in the job that I hope carries me to retirement … why are professional athletes somehow different?

        I get it that many sports leagues are awash in cash … so yes, it is only fair that the players get a bigger piece of pie because the pie is GIGANTIC. If anyone thinks MLS’s pie is the same size as the sum of EPL clubs or Spanish clubs or those of the NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB then you are not paying attention. Salaries have risen substantially in recent years. We are no longer paying players $10k a year (the NWSL does though) and expecting that they also coach or have some other job on the side. $40k is a reasonable amount for a 10 month job with a lot of perks (free travel, likely a lot of free food, don’t have to punch a time clock at 8AM and 5PM Monday through Friday). I suspect there are a lot of people who if they had the talent would gladly trade their 40k job for that of a professional athlete.

  4. You know what,….it would be nice if he came out and made a statement as a cautionary tale for other players (and agents),….”I made a mistake. I was on a good club in a beautiful city, in a competitive, STABLE league and I blew it.”

  5. jajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajajajajajajjajajajjajajajajajajaajajajajajjajajajaajajajajajajajaajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajajajajajajjajajajjajajajajajajaajajajajajjajajajaajajajajajajajaajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajajajajajajjajajajjajajajajajajaajajajajajjajajajaajajajajajajajaajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajajajajajajjajajajjajajajajajajaajajajajajjajajajaajajajajajajajaajajjajajajajajajajjajajajajajajajajajajajajajjajajajjajajajajajajaajajajajajjajajajaajajajajajajajaajajja

  6. I’ve not seen his name anywhere on the teamsheet since his move there. This includes Copa MX games. Even Gustavino arrived about the same time as Camilo and he is part of the gameday roster.

  7. I know its old and a retread of prior comments….

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma, Camilio, you come and go, you come and go!

    • He didn’t screw anyone. It was poorly handled, I’ll great you. Now if you want to see a player screwing over a club, check out Claudio Reyna and Fulham.

      • let me re-phrase, his agent screwed the Whitecaps. sorry dude, but there was nothing professional about Camilo’s or his agent’s behavior in that whole saga.

        Queretaro’s owner deserves much of the blame too. guy lied to everyone and promised things he couldn’t come through on.

      • Uhm… if you’re under contract, and then, deep into the offseason, you just go off and sign with another club, with no permission and no warning – in order to force a move… and you leave your real club with no time to make a new signing… You screwed them over. You screwed them over big time.

        I have no interest in the Whitecaps. I only have an interest in Justice.

        And in the name of Justice, I say HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

      • just because Coleman was a baby about the Reyna almost-transfer doesnt mean Reyna “screwed them over”. No agreement was in place. Happens all the time.

  8. All to common all over the world. MLS may not pay players exorbitant amounts of money, but they pay their players. MLS will continue to rise and with that rise more money will be coming in, and in 20 years MLS will be a force to be reckoned with.

    • Agreed, but I have it closer to 2.0 years.

      Other MLS advantages

      Racism missing check

      Better country to live in check (my biased opinion)

      Most competitive check

      Growing beyond belief check

      Publicly funded stadiums…hate it but check

      • Most of what you’ve mentioned is pretty spot on. It depends upon what city you live in but there are some places where Guatemalan or Salvadoran players have said that the MLS location has all the cuisine and shopping and local community that they’d find back home…without the danger of kidnapping. MLS isn’t all roses for foreign players–most away games aren’t a 1-2 hour bus ride away. But there’s a lot here that’s attractive is someone can handle the culture shift.

    • There have been several stories (Chara and Valeri come to mind mainly as I am PTFC-centric in my news consumption) in recent years to illustrate this. Both of these guys were amazed that not only were they paid in full and on time, that it happened by direct deposit with no funny business.

      In 2011 Chara didn’t understand that it would be a direct deposit payment so he thought he wasn’t paid until the team explained it to him, IIRC the GM even accompanied him to his bank to make sure all was in order. Given the language barrier and cultural expectation that many clubs are way behind on player wages and skip paychecks elsewhere in the world, Chara was beyond happy. Sad that in much of the world a contract is fairly meaningless.

      • Christian Gomez had a similar experience when he first came to DC United. He coudn’t understand why everyone was so calm on a payday. Jaime Moreno had to explain direct deposit to him.

  9. Not all transfer fees are paid all at once. In many cases the transfer fee can be spread out over months and even years. Although the transfer fee that Queretaro had to pay for Camilio to Vancouver was small in comparison to Europe, lets hope that Vancouver got all their money upfront.

    While, like most readers of this site, I abhorred the way Camilio abandoned Vancouver to take the bucks offered by the Mexico club. I feel a little sorry that he made the wrong choice, by listening to a duplicitous owner and his (very bad) agent.

      • Yes, FIFA recognizes the labor laws in each country, but this situation was an odd duck, that, I think, no one wanted to adjudicate. You had a Brazilian Player. represented by (I think) an Argentinian, but he played for a league of one nation, US (MLS) but has, as a member, a team from a third country (Canada) with whom the player has residence. and whose labor laws are similar, but in quite a few ways, different, than those in the US. And to top it off, the player left to play in another country (Mexico)

        It was a legal quagmire, that no one wanted to wade into..

      • It is also remotely possible that if Quaretaro has not fully paid it’s transfer fees for Camilo and goes into receivership, the MLS could move to void the contract with Queretato, and get the rights back. I seriously doubt that MLS would want him back, but they could let him twist in the wind, while the matter is worked out.

        WOW, Karma’s a bitch.

  10. Any player with common sense would leave mls for more money. Camillo should have handled the outgoing process better but if mls would pay its young stars better Camillo’s exit would not need to happen

    • As Camillo has proven however, the promise of more money isn’t necessarily more money.

      MLS pays what they pay. If he wanted DP money then that was the contract he needed to negotiate. Instead he chose to up and leave in the middle of his contract where he was still making a little more twice the average MLS salary and quite even further above the median salary.

  11. the strength of MLS even before we started growing is that it is run properly…we pay our players, we fund our stadiums, all new except a few, and we have built a solid foundation…in the very near future what happened with Camillo will cease….too many players from other countries want to come here and play in an up an coming league with a slolid infrastructure…

    the time for MLS is NOW…..


      • We would have to make a trade in allocation ego space for him to come to DC. Right now the books are full with EJ.

    • I love the comments about “ego space” and “allocation ego space” on this issue about EJ and Camilo. In a more serious vein, the ONLY way acquiring Camilo would work is if he’s paid less than EJ. And even then, when August came, you could be guaranteed that he’d take a personal day and then suddenly you’d see pictures of him wearing kit for an Argentine or Honduran club saying how he’s their newest acquisition.

    • Yes. I’ve even switched jobs that I regretted afterwards but I always continued to get paid and I did it in a legal manner. This story is too funny. I’m sure someone will take him when he becomes available but it would be even better if he’s only offered a smaller contract than what he got with Queretaro. Do the Whitecaps own his rights in MLS?

      • where does it say you have to spend the transfer fee in order to no longer hold the rights? please cite that because i’ve never heard of that.

        as far as i understood it, if an MLS team receives a transfer fee for a player, they do NOT retain the rights to the player. what they do with that money is irrelevant.

        granted, now i wonder if the Whitecaps even got the full transfer amount.

      • This comment left me at a total loss, as well,. Speculation from those who cover the Whitecaps suggest that Camilo’s transfer may be voided due to Querétaro’s failure to meet funding obligations related to the transfer fee. If Querétaro agreed to an upfront fee and hasn’t paid a dime, probably Vancouver has a very legitimate case, If the transfer has been partially funded, however, this transaction will probably be dragged into a protracted haggle in which Vancouver/MLS find themselves somehow lookng for a recovery of their investment from the smoldering ruins of a large Mexican bankruptcy. Camilo himself seems uniterested in returning to Vancouver, so it’s hard to see a positive ending right now.

        As for Mike’s claim, I really hope I’m just reading that wrong. The only precedent I’ve heard that sounds remotely familiar was the “no tradebacks if you’ve taken a bite” rule from 3rd grade lunch.

      • That would be rough for Vancouver. First, Camilo has burned some bridges here. Second, if technically speaking Vancouver still “owns his rights” than couldn’t Camilo come back to Vancouver and insist that they honor his old contract? Would Vancouver even have the cap room to do so? And Vancouver would be bat crazy to even entertain the idea of having him back on the roster.

        No…for Vancouver’s sake and MLS’ sake, let’s hope the transfer is binding, the check didn’t bounce and if any other money is owed, than FIFA will step in and enforce that one.

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